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Asian Stocks Sink As Global Economy Fears Rise

"This inaction by the Chinese government also weighs," Wong said.

Asian markets were also reacting to some downbeat economic reports released over the weekend. The U.S. Labor Department said that the unemployment rate rose in more than half of states last month, the latest evidence that hiring remains tepid across the world's biggest economy. The World Trade Organization, meanwhile, cut estimates for global trade growth for this year and next. Both reports came out on Friday after Asian markets closed.

In Tokyo, camera maker Canon Inc. slid 3.5 percent and global automaker Honda Motor Co. dropped 2 percent. Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd. lost 2 percent. Petrochina, China's biggest oil and gas company, fell 1.6 percent.

On Wall Street Friday, markets were little changed. The Dow lost 0.1 percent to close at 13,579.47 while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 fell a minuscule 0.01 percent to 1,460.15. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 percent, to 3,179.96.

In currencies, the euro weakened to $1.2947 from $1.2989 in late trading Friday while the dollar fell to 78.07 Japanese yen from 78.15 yen.

U.S. benchmark crude for October delivery was down 82 cents to $92.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 47 cents to settle at $92.89 on Friday.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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