Asia-Pacific shares lost ground yesterday after the release of weak U.S. and Chinese economic data and a lukewarm start to Agricultural Bank of China's prestige listing.
Tokyo was down 1.60 percent, or 155.04 points, at 9,530.49 by noon, while the Topix index of first-section shares lost 1.32 percent.
Sentiment took a hit from news out of the United States of a drop in manufacturing activity in New York state and only a modest rise in industrial production across the country last month.
Data also showed a decline in U.S. producer prices, suggesting a slow recovery and possible deflation. Google's second-quarter revenue also disappointed Wall Street as it was only up one percent from the first quarter. Japanese exporters were hit hardest, with a strong yen exacerbating the loss of nerve.
Toyota Motor fell 1.26 percent and Honda Motor 0.89 percent, while Sony dropped 3.43 percent.
"Investor sentiment is mainly being hit by worries about a recovery in the U.S. economy," Hidenori Suezawa, chief strategist at Nikko Cordial Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires. Hong Kong was flat by lunch at 20,241.29, with the second part of the massive AgBank flotation also underwhelming after a muted start in Shanghai on Thursday.
Shanghai's Composite Index was down 0.75 percent, or 18.12 points, at 2,406.19 in early trade, with traders also reacting to data on Thursday showing a slowdown in China's economy.