Arab Today, arab today asian stocks fall on disappointing us jobs data
Last Updated : GMT 02:18:28
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Asian stocks fall on disappointing US jobs data

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Arab Today, arab today Asian stocks fall on disappointing US jobs data

Hong Kong - AFP

Asian markets fell on Monday after declines in the US and Europe on disappointing American jobs data that raised fresh concerns about the world\'s biggest economy. In China, data showing the rate of inflation slowed in June opened the door to new government action to boost growth, but the news failed to lift markets which instead turned their focus to more key figures to be released later this week. Tokyo\'s Nikkei index closed down 1.37 percent, or 123.87 points, at 8,896.88, also weighed down by weak figures from its domestic economy Bank stocks were under pressure with Mizuho Financial down 1.50 percent at 131 yen, while firms that ship to hard-hit Europe were also weaker with automaker Mazda falling 3.84 percent to 100 yen and chipmaker Renesas Electronics off 4.25 percent to 315 yen. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gave up 372.55 points to end at 19,428.09 on turnover of HK$42.21 billion ($5.43 billion). Chinese shares closed down 2.37 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, slumped 52.77 points to 2,170.81 on turnover of 69.3 billion yuan ($10.9 billion). Seoul slipped 1.19 percent, or 22.07 points, to close at 1,836.13, and Sydney closed 0.95 percent, or 39.5 points, lower at 4,118.3 The drop in Sydney stocks \"has predominantly been about our market following the leads of the US market and its disappointment in yet another sub-par jobs report\", said Cameron Peacock, an analyst at IG Markets. The US economy added only 80,000 jobs, well below expectations, leaving the unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department released on Friday after Asian markets closed. It was the latest disappointing economic report from the US and came shortly after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned that the fund would be cutting its global growth forecasts later this month. US markets closed lower Friday after the jobs report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.96 percent, The S&P 500 losing 0.94 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq dropping 1.30 percent. In Europe, London was down 0.53 percent, Frankfurt shed 1.92 percent and Paris lost 1.88 percent. In China, the National Bureau of Statistics said the consumer price index rose by 2.2 percent year-on-year last month, the lowest rate since the start of 2010. The fall in inflationary pressures in China in recent months, alongside a general slowing in the economy, has given the government more scope to try to stimulate growth. The central bank last week cut interest rates for the second time in a month. But Shanghai stocks dropped after the inflation figure was released, with investors focusing on GDP and other economic data due out Friday. \"Now that inflation has moderated, investors have turned their focus to whether last week\'s rate cut was in anticipation of weaker data due later this week,\" Zhou Xu, an analyst from Nanjing Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires. In Japan, official data showed the surplus in the country\'s current account, the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world, plunged 62.6 percent to 215.1 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in May from a year earlier. That was well below the 511 billion yen surplus expected by economists, according to Dow Jones Newswires, with separate data pointing to weakness in new investment by corporate Japan. Investors were also looking to a meeting in Brussels later in the day of eurozone finance ministers, who are under pressure to flesh out a plan agreed last month to helping the ailing currency bloc. On Asian currency markets, the euro remained under pressure after dropping to its lowest level for two years on the US data. The euro was changing hands at $1.2288 in Tokyo trade against $1.2287 in New York late Friday, its lowest since July 2010. The euro bought 97.95 yen from 97.83 yen in US trade on Friday, while the dollar fetched 79.68 yen in Tokyo, little changed from 79.62 yen in New York On oil markets, New York\'s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, gained 38 cents to $84.83 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August delivery rose 55 cents to $98.74. Gold was worth $1582.26 an ounce at 0700 GMT, compared with $1,594.70 late Friday. In other markets: -- Taipei fell 0.80 percent, or 58.63 points, to 7,309.96. Smartphone maker HTC shed 5.59 percent to Tw$304.0 while Chunghwa Telecom was 0.21 percent higher at Tw$95.4. -- Wellington edged up 0.04 percent, or 1.49 points, to 3,480.19. Telecom Corp. added 1.4 percent to NZ$2.49 and Fletcher Building was down 1.12 percent at NZ$6.20.

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