Asian equities fall as markets await U.S. jobs data

|By:, SA News Editor

Asian stocks are mostly ending what's been a decent week in the red as investors stay cautious ahead of U.S. jobs data today, which could show whether or not economic weakness in January and February was due to the severe winter weather and that the recovery remains on course.

The consensus is that nonfarm payrolls grew 200,000 in March vs 175,000, in February, although the whisper number is closer to 220,000.

However, heaven forbid if the figure is too good. "Solid jobs data is welcome," says investment strategist Norihiro Fujito. "But numbers too robust may spark fears that the Fed may actually accelerate stimulus tapering, resulting in another roiling effect on developing markets and Japan like we saw earlier this year."

Japan -0.1%, Hong Kong -0.5%, China +0.7%, India -0.3%.