HONG KONG: Asian markets fell on Monday after declines in the US and Europe on disappointing American jobs data that raised fresh concerns about the world's biggest economy.
Markets were also pushed lower by a set of weak economic figures from Japan, while China reported that its inflation rate slowed in June, giving the government more scope to act to arrest the country's slowing economic growth.
Tokyo was down 0.84 percent, Hong Kong slipped 0.62 percent, Seoul was off 1.0 percent, Shanghai fell 0.78 percent and Sydney was down 0.74 percent.
The US economy added only 80,000 jobs, well below expectations, according to figures from the Labor Department released on Friday after Asian markets closed.
It was the latest disappointing economic report from the US and came shortly after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned that the fund would be cutting its global growth forecasts later this month.
US markets closed lower Friday after the jobs report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.96 percent, The S&P 500 losing 0.94 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq dropping 1.30 percent.
In Europe, London was down 0.53 percent, Frankfurt shed 1.92 percent and Paris lost 1.88 percent.
In Japan, official data showed the surplus in the country's current account, the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world, plunged 62.6 percent to 215.1 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in May from a year earlier.
That was well below the 511 billion yen surplus expected by economists, according to Dow Jones Newswires, with separate data pointing to weakness in new investment by corporate Japan.
The figures highlighted fears about a recovery for the world's third-largest economy amid turmoil in Europe, a key export market.
In China, the National Bureau of Statistics said the consumer price index rose by 2.2 percent year-on-year last month, the lowest rate since the start of 2010.
The fall in inflationary pressures in China in recent months, alongside a general slowing in the economy, has given the government more scope to try and boost growth.
The central bank last week cut interest rates for the second time in a month.
On currency markets, the euro stabilised after dropping to its lowest level for two years on the US data. The common currency was changing hands at $1.2285 compared with $1.2287 in New York late Friday.
It was trading at 97.85 yen compared with 97.83 yen late Friday, while the dollar was at 79.66 yen from 79.62 yen.
On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, gained 18 cents to $84.63 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August delivery rose 27 cents to $98.46.
Gold was worth $1580.40 an ounce at 0320 GMT, compared with $1,594.70 late Friday. (AFP)