Asian shares on defensive on mounting signs of a global slowdown

Asian share markets started the week on a cautious footing on Monday after weak economic data from China and Europe added to evidence of cooling global growth and reinforced anxiety over the impact of international trade frictions on business and profits.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed while Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.1 percent in early trade. US stock futures were also almost flat.

On Wall Street on Friday, the S&P 500 lost 1.91 percent to 2,599.95, marking its lowest close since April 2.

The benchmark has dropped 11.3 percent from its Sept. 20 record close – the worst performance since it fell more than 14 percent between May 2015 and January 2016.

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