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Asian shares tumble on grim U.S. jobs report

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Asian shares suffered heavy losses Monday, the first day of trading after last week’s bleak U.S. jobs report intensified fears of a global recession.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was down 1.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost about 3% and South Korea’s Kospi nosedived 4.4%.

China’s benchmark stock index slumped 2% to close at a 13-month low on fears the government would continue to tighten monetary policy.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said last week that stabilizing consumer prices is the government’s chief priority.

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At a news conference in Beijing on Monday, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said inflation remains China’s biggest short-term risk.

The former U.S. deputy secretary of State was meeting Chinese leaders in preparation of a joint report to be released later this year outlining steps China needs to take to rebalance its economy away from exports and investment and toward domestic consumption.

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-- David Pierson


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