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Asian Markets: Lower Monday On U.S. Jobs Data

The Asian stock markets are expected to open lower on Monday following U.S. employment figures that fell well shy of expectations.

The major U.S. and European indexes were closed in observance of Good Friday - however, the Labor Department said on Friday that U.S. employment saw continued growth in March, although the pace came in well below estimates.

Non-farm payroll employment saw an increase of 120,000 jobs in March following an upwardly revised increase of 240,000 jobs in February. Economists had expected the addition of about 201,000 jobs compared to the increase of 227,000 jobs that had been reported for the previous month.

In addition, the Bank of England maintained the size of its bond purchases unchanged, as concerns about a technical recession ease and inflation remains sticky due to elevated oil prices.

The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee decided to leave the quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 325 billion. Also, the committee retained the benchmark interest rate at its record low level of 0.50 percent.

The Asian markets were mostly higher on Friday as Taiwan climbed 0.87 percent, while Malaysia collected 0.34 percent, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.19 percent, South Korea's KOSPI moved up 0.01 percent and Japan shed 0.81 percent. The markets in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand were off on holiday. Bourses in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong remain closed on Monday.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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