Asian benchmarks mostly slip after Wall Street’s losing week

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were trading mostly lower on Monday after U.S. employment data had Wall Street close out a losing week.

Investors are also closely watching earnings reports due later this week, including from Disney in the U.S., Alibaba Group in China and Sony and SoftBank in Japan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped losses earlier in the day and was down less than 0.1% at 32,190.31 in morning trading.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.4% to 7,298.60. South Korea’s Kospi inched down less than 0.1% to 2,602.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3% to 19,488.09, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.6% to 3,267.44.

“Local stocks appear to be latching onto the U.S. downswing from Friday as investors are still absorbing a down week for most markets,” Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management said of Asian trading.

On Friday last week, the S&P 500 sank 23.86, or 0.5%, to 4,478.03. It was the fourth straight drop for Wall Street’s main measure of health after it set a 16-month high at the start of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also drifted between gains and losses through the day before ending with a loss. It dropped 150.27 points, or 0.4%, to 35,065.62, and the Nasdaq composite gave up 50.48, or 0.4%, to 13,909.24.

A highly anticipated U.S. jobs report said hiring was a touch weaker last month than economists expected, though wages for workers rose more than forecast.

Although a strong job market is generally a positive sign for the economy, if wage growth is particularly strong, the U.S. Federal Reserve could see it as putting upward pressure on inflation.

If the job market keeps moderating, it could allow inflation to continue to cool from its peak reached last summer.

Big Tech stocks have led Wall Street’s charge this year. Like Amazon and Apple, which reported earnings last week, most companies in the S&P 500 have been reporting stronger profits for the spring than analysts expected.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 4 cents to $82.78 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, slipped 4 cents to $86.20 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched up to 141.97 Japanese yen from 141.71 yen. The euro cost $1.1000, down from $1.1012.

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped Friday to 4.04% from 4.18% late Thursday. It helps set rates for mortgages and other important loans.

The two-year Treasury yield, which moves more on expectations for the Fed, fell to 4.77% from 4.89%.


AP Business Writer Stan Choe contributed to this report.

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