Asian markets slipped further yesterday following losses in Europe and on Wall Street after a third straight monthly contraction in US manufacturing activity. The disappointing US data followed poor numbers on factory activity from Asia and Europe but dealers looked forward to a European Central Bank meeting, optimistic there would be new measures to fight the lingering debt crisis. Tokyo fell 1.09%, or 95.69 points, to 8,679.82, the lowest close in a month, while Seoul slipped 1.74%, or 33.10 points, to 1,874.03. Hong Kong tumbled 1.47%, or 284.84 points, to 19,145.07 and Shanghai was off 0.29%, or 5.97 points, to 2,037.68. Sydney closed 0.57%, or 24.7 points, lower at 4,278.8 after figures showed the Australian economy grew slower than expected in April-June. Regional markets took their cue from Wall Street, which returned on Tuesday after a long weekend to figures highlighting the ongoing problems with manufacturing, a key driver of the world’s biggest economy. The Institute for Supply Management said its purchasing managers index stood at 49.6% in August, down from 49.8 in July. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. It was the third month of contraction in a row. Data from the eurozone and Asia on Monday were similarly downbeat. China, a major global growth driver, saw its manufacturing activity fall to its lowest level in more than three years in August. In Asian trade, gold was at $1,691.51 at 1100 GMT compared with $1,691.70 on Tuesday. In other markets, Taipei fell 1.13%, or 83.91 points, to 7,367.44, Manila fell 0.48%, or 25.06 points, to 5,150.81 and Wellington slipped 0.17%, or 6.38 points, to 3,669.65. Singapore closed down 0.52%, or 15.65 points, at 2,995.90, while Kuala Lumpur dipped 13.10 points, or 0.79%, to 1,641.01, Jakarta ended down 0.7%, or 29.9%, at 4,075.35 and Bangkok fell 0.2, or 2.47 points, to 1,233.84. From gulf times.