The Main Stream

Jun 22, 2012 1:56 AM

Asia stocks fall amid US jobs, housing gloom

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Asian stock markets fell Friday as gloomy economic reports from the world's two biggest economies piled, heightening fears of a sharper global downturn.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that the four-week average of applications for unemployment benefits jumped to the highest level in nine months. Meanwhile, sales of previously owned homes fell 1.5 percent in May.

A further sign of weakness came from the Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve, which issued a report showing that manufacturing in the northeast had experienced a sharp decrease due to a steep fall in company orders.

Appetite for financial assets such as stocks was also dented by the results of a monthly HSBC survey, which showed that manufacturing in China has continued to contract.

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