Asian markets retreat on weak economy, earnings (AP)

In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, an actor portraying 'The Pink Panther' joins Larry Leibowitz, right, Executive Vice President of the New York Stock Exchange and Mark Iyeki, also of the NYSE, for the closing bell, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/NYSE, Ray Girard)AP – Asian stock markets faltered Friday, dragged down by a sell-off in Tokyo as new data underlined the severity of Japan’s economic slump and quarterly reports from leading companies like Sony and Toshiba showed profits tumbling.

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