Seoul: Asian stock markets were mostly lower on Monday as a disappointing US jobs report late last week sent Wall Street lower.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped less than 0.1% to 23,678.22. China’s Shanghai Composite index was lower by 0.2% to 2,831.60.
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,078.77, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was narrowly down by 3.6 points to 4,701.70. Indexes in Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines were also down. Bucking the trend was the New Zealand exchange, up by 0.1% to 3,320.78.
Financial markets in Japan were closed Monday for a national holiday. The Nikkei 225 stock average, Asia’s largest, rose Friday to a fresh eight-month high of 10,541.04.
On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.55 points, or 0.2%, to close at 11,674.76. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 2.35, or 0.2%, to 1,271.50. The Nasdaq composite index fell 6.72, or 0.3%, to 2,703.17.
The US Labor Department said Friday that employers added 103,000 jobs in December, less than analysts expected. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 9.4%, down from 9.8% in November and the lowest rate in 19-month. The decline came partly because many people gave up looking for work.
In currencies, the dollar was trading at ¥83 from ¥83.03 Friday. The euro stood at $1.2921 from $1.2934.
Benchmark oil for February delivery rose $1.49 to $89.52 a barrel in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 30 cents to settle at $88.03 on Friday.