Asian markets lower amid China, Afghanistan unease

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets have declined amid turmoil in Afghanistan and unease about China’s economic outlook after July activity was weaker than expected. Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea retreated while Tokyo rose. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose to a new high despite rising American coronavirus infections. Investors were watching rapid developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country with unexpected speed and thousands of people tried to flee. Investors looked ahead to a speech by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell for the U.S. central bank’s outlook on the biggest global economy.

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