BANGKOK: Asian stock markets sank Monday as Europe's debt crisis threatened to intensify again while growth in China slowed.
Japan's Nikkei slid 1.4 percent to 9,505.27, bruised by a higher yen and an announcement Thursday by electronics and video gaming giant Sony Corp. that it would slash 10,000 jobs.
South Korea's Kospi was 0.9 percent lower at 1,991.56 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent to 20,570.52.
The most recent worries in Europe are concentrated on Spain and Italy. The yield last week on Spain's 10-year government bond rose to 5.93 percent, and Italy's rose to 5.52 percent — signs of slipping investor confidence.
It means those countries will have to pay more to borrow money and force more cuts in government spending. That would hinder growth that is needed to extricate Europe's smaller economies from a massive load of debt.
Meanwhile, data on Friday showed the Chinese economy grew at an 8.1 percent pace in the January-March period, the slowest in almost three years.
"Pressure on risk assets has intensified in the wake of softer Chinese GDP data and especially renewed eurozone stresses, with Spain moving rapidly into the spotlight," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong wrote in an e-mail.
"Further pressure on Spanish bond spreads is likely especially as it has become clear that the country's banks are relying more on European Central Bank funding."
On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.1 percent to close at 12,849.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.3 percent to 1,370.26. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.5 percent to 3,011.33.
Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 70 cents to $102.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 81 cents to finish at $102.83 per barrel on the Nymex on Friday.
In currency trading, the euro fell to $1.3023 from $1.3081 on Friday in New York. The dollar fell to 80.88 yen from 81.10 yen.