Asian equities fell on Thursday morning, as the impact of a Fitch Ratings downgrade of US sovereign debt, as well as hot economic data, reverberated across international markets.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.6 per cent, Japan’s Topix lost 1.4 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.5 per cent. China’s CSI 300 and South Korea’s Kospi were flat.

US markets had their steepest single-day drop in months on Wednesday after Fitch downgraded its assessment of the country’s debt, with the S&P 500 losing 1.4 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite closing 2.2 per cent lower.

Stronger than expected jobs data, meanwhile, raised concerns that an extended period of higher interest rates could hit higher-risk assets.

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