Asian Stocks Plunge; Europe Lower

Asian stocks fell Friday on European debt worries and concerns over jobs in the U.S. Shares in Europe were trading lower.
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Updated from 4:03 a.m. EST

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Asian stocks fell Friday on European debt worries and concerns over jobs in the U.S. Shares in Europe were moving almost 2% lower.

The Nikkei 225 stock average in Tokyo closed down 2.9% to 10,0507.09, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 3.3% and shares in China slid 1.9%.

Global investors are facing the fear that debt trouble in Greece, Spain and Portugal could halt a global recovery or even send it back into recession.

In London, stocks fell 1.6% and Frankfurt shares declined 1.4%. Paris shares fell 2.3%.

In the U.S., stocks fell hard Thursday after the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by 8,000 to 480,000 in the final week of January. The report came a day before Friday's nonfarm payrolls report, making for jittery investors.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

plunged 268 points, or 2.6%, to 10,002. The

S&P 500

lost 34 points, or 3.1%, to 1063 and the

Nasdaq

stumbled by 65 points, or 3%, at 2125. The Dow hit an intraday low below 10,000 just before the market closed.

Premarket futures in the U.S. suggested stocks on Wall Street would open lower Friday.

In Japan, shares of

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

rose 1.1% despite reports it may

recall its gas-electric hybrid Prius

because of brake problems. The automaker is recalling millions of cars for a separate problem of sticking gas pedals.

Toyota's CEO will hold a news conference later Friday.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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