NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Asian stocks ended mostly lower Wednesday in lackluster trading. European shares were slightly higher.

The Nikkei 225 stock average in Tokyo ended down by 7.20 points, or 0.06%, at 11,089.94. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.6%. Shanghai's benchmark stock index also declined 0.6%.

Trading was subdued overseas as investors readied themselves for the market-moving employment numbers out of the U.S. on Friday. Analysts expect U.S. employers to have added about 190,000 jobs to payrolls in March. That would be only the second increase since the recession began in late 2007, the Associated Press notes.

Premarket futures suggested stocks on Wall Street would open lower on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 10,907.42. The S&P 500 index rose less than 0.1% and Nasdaq gained 0.3%.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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