HONG KONG (AFP) - A fresh batch of disappointing figures from the United States and losses on Wall Street sent Asian markets tumbling on Friday. And the dollar remained under pressure from the yen amid uncertainty over the global outlook and as dealers awaited measures from Tokyo aimed at reining in the Japanese unit. Tokyos Nikkei fell 1.96 percent, or 183.30 points, to 9,179.38 as exporters were hit by the yens stubborn strength. Sydney fell 1.07 percent, or 48.1 points, to 4,430.9 and Hong Kong lost 0.43 percent, or 90.64 points, to end at 20,981.82. Shanghai was 1.70 percent off, shedding 45.67 points to finish on 2,642.31. The United States announced on Thursday a new set of data that stoked growing concerns about the recovery in the worlds biggest economy amid fears of a double-dip recession. The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing new weekly claims for jobless benefits jumped unexpectedly to 500,000, the highest in nine months and against forecasts of a small improvement. It was the third straight week in which claims have risen, and underscores the threat posed by unemployment to the recovery. US unemployment hit 9.5 percent in July. The glum figures were compounded after the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia said manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region had dropped in August. Wall Street reacted badly, with the Dow falling 1.39 percent and Nasdaq 1.66 percent off. Thursdays announcements added to an already downbeat outlook for the United States. Already this month the Federal Reserve has forecast the economy will take longer to recover than originally expected, while manufacturing data have also disappointed. The dollar remained under pressure as investors look for protection against risk by buying the yen. The dollar, which hit a 15-year low of 84.73 yen last week, was at 85.28 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, from 85.38 in New York Thursday. Currency dealers have been waiting anxiously for measures by Japan to halt the yens rise and give a much-needed fillip to the stuttering economy. Bank of Japan chief Masaaki Shirakawa is due to meet Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Monday to discuss stimulus for the economy and ways to brake the yens advances. We are hearing rumours that the BoJ may hold an emergency meeting, said Yuji Saito, forex analyst at Credit Agricole. Market players are looking to possible moves by the Bank of Japan, he said. Shinichiro Matsushita, market analyst at Daiwa Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires: The market is increasingly concerned about the yens rise and has priced in hopes that the BOJ will have an emergency meeting soon. The euro slipped to 1.2798 dollars from 1.2821 and to 109.20 yen from 109.47 in New York. Economic uncertainty led risk-averse dealers into safe haven gold, which opened at 1,231.00-1,232.00 US dollars an ounce, up from Thursdays closing price of 1,229.50-1,230.50 dollars.