SINGAPORE (AP) - Asian stocks were lower today after a disappointing U.S. jobs report stoked concern that the world's biggest economy remains mired in weak growth.
The U.S. economy added a less than expected 80,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The tepid employment growth, which followed the first drop in U.S. manufacturing in three years, increases pressure on the Federal Reserve to implement monetary stimulus measures known as quantitative easing.
The release later this week of the minutes of the last Fed meeting might show whether the Fed is leaning toward more stimulus to boost growth.
"The obvious concern is that this is the start of a slowdown that will lead to another recession," Capital Economics said in a report. "Although it is very clear that the U.S. economy has lost a lot of momentum, there are no real indications that it will soon come to a complete standstill or even go into reverse."
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to 8,953.11 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.5 percent to 19,495.88.
South Korea's Kospi slipped 1.3 percent to 1,834.08. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.7 percent to 4,130.70 and China's Shanghai Composite shed 1.1 percent to 2,199.16.