Asian stocks down on disappointing US jobs data

Asian stock markets fell in early trading Friday as disappointing U.S. jobs data sparked fresh concerns over a recovery in the world's biggest economy.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average dropped 192.49 points, or 1.8 percent, to 10,428.06.

South Korea's Kospi shed 0.7 percent to 1,683.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7 percent at 4,646.10.

Sentiment in Asia turned downbeat as the Labor Department report Thursday showed U.S. claims for jobless benefits were not falling fast enough to signal steady job growth. High unemployment remains a primary obstacle to a U.S. economic recovery.

The U.S. government said first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 444,000 last week from an upwardly revised 448,000 the previous week - the consensus in the markets was for a drop to 440,000.

The disappointing job report triggered selling on Wall Street on Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 113.96 points, or 1.1 percent, to 10,782.95.