BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets fell Tuesday as uncertainty persisted about what authorities in the U.S., China and Europe might do to deal with a souring global economy.
The previous day's trading was dominated by a survey suggesting that China's manufacturing sector was contracting. Though a bad sign for the global economy, the data raised expectations that Chinese authorities will announce additional measures to bolster growth.
But the People's Bank of China appears to be resisting calls for more aggressive measures after the huge stimulus in response to the 2008 global financial crisis fueled inflation and a wasteful spending boom.
"We are all waiting for more monetary policy to come out," said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. "We are all waiting and hope the PBOC will do something."
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1 percent to 8,773.14. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.3 percent to 19,497.47 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.2 percent to 1,907.70. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.6 percent to 4,303.30.
Benchmarks in Taiwan, Indonesia and mainland China also fell. Thailand and New Zealand rose.
Among individual stocks, Japan's Sharp Corp. jumped 9.7 percent following reports that the chief of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which is in talks on revising terms of an investment in the Japanese electronics maker, said he is seeking to join Sharp's management, according to Kyodo News.
Australian miner Fortescue Metals fell 2.3 percent after announcing it would shed staff and defer some work to reduce costs in response to falling iron ore prices.
Investors around the world will have a number of issues to contend with over the rest of the week, culminating with Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for August.
On Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, is expected to announce details of a new bond-buying program intended to keep the borrowing costs of countries such as Spain and Italy from soaring.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 12, Germany's constitutional court is set to issue its verdict on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism, Europe's planned bailout fund.
Hopes that the ECB will play a more crucial role in the debt crisis have helped support the euro in recent weeks. After dropping to near two-year lows below $1.20, the euro has pushed back above $1.25.
The U.S. payroll figures, which often set the market tone for a week or two after their release, could be particularly important this month too.
Last Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that more central bank action was possible to support the U.S. economy, leading investors to think the Fed will act sooner rather than later. Previous Fed stimulus packages have shored up markets as the fresh liquidity on offer made its way round financial markets.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was up 70 cents to $97.17 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.85 to finish at $96.47 Friday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2613 from $1.2577 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 78.35 yen from 78.33 yen.