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The Associated Press August 8, 2010, 8:51PM ET

Asian stocks down following poor US jobs report

Asian stock markets fell in early trading Monday as sentiment was dampened by a poor U.S. jobs report that was the latest sign the U.S. economic recovery is weakening.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index lost 90.60 points, or 0.9 percent, to 9,551.52. Investors also sold Japanese exporters due to a strong yen, which cuts the value of their overseas profits.

South Korea's Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 1,782.09, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.3 percent to 4,572.50.

Investors fretted over weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data Friday, which showed private job growth last month was just 71,000, far below 90,000 projected by economists.

The Labor Department also said Friday the U.S. unemployment rate in July was stuck at 9.5 percent. The dismal jobs data sent the Dow Jones industrial average down by 21.42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 10,653.56 Friday.

The U.S. monthly jobs report is a key indicator on the health of the world's No. 1 economy. It is closely monitored by investors and economists as job creation has a huge impact on the rest of the U.S. economy, influencing how much people spend on cars, clothes, travel and even homes.

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