Asian markets slip amid growing concerns

<p>The potential conflict between North and South Korea and threat of bird flu in China have combined to damage Asian markets.</p>

Asian shares fell to their lowest level in three months today (April 5th), with concerns regarding the potential conflict in the Korean peninsula and bird flu in China serving to subdue traders.

The MSCI's Asia-Pacific share index for those outside of Japan dropped by 1.1 per cent as of 08:00 BST, largely due to the fact Hong Kong shares slid by 2.4 per cent and there was a 1.7 per cent decline in South Korean shares.

Alfred Chan, chief dealer at Cheer Pearl Investment in Hong Kong, told Reuters: "Everything is combining today to hurt the market. The bird flu issue is at the top of people's minds now."

The country's shares slumped to a four-month low today, with the sectors most sensitive to growth falling sharply on reports a new strain of bird flu in China could damage the local economy.

US payroll data is due to be released later in the session, which could have a significant impact on Asian markets. Investors reportedly see improving numbers in this area as key when considering risk and the release is expected to show a 200,000 increase in jobs last month, though the jobless rate is anticipated to remain at 7.7 per cent.

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