Asian stock markets fell today after disappointing jobs figures from the US and Europe dimmed confidence in an economic recovery.
Investor nerves was tested by a report that showed US businesses adding far fewer jobs in April than they did in March.
The private survey by payroll processor ADP said US businesses added 119,000 jobs in April, down from 201,000 in March.
The US government releases its monthly figures, which include the public sector, tomorrow. The two reports can vary sharply.
Meanwhile, another jobs report from Europe underscored the gravity of the continuing debt crisis there.
The 17 countries that use the euro reported that unemployment rose to 10.9% in March, the highest since the euro launched in 1999.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3% to 21,240.92, a day after posting strong gains. The Shanghai Composite Index followed suit, slipping marginally to 2,43787 after racking up a big advance Wednesday.
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.3% to 1,993.80. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up marginally to 4,437.30, though many traders sat on the sidelines ahead of the release of the national budget next week.
Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.