Australia and Japan Markets Lower
08 February 2016, Nirapad News: Japanese and Australian stock markets were lower Monday after a U.S. jobs report added to uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pace of interest-rate increases.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei Stock Average and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 were both down 0.2%. Many markets in Asia, including China, were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Friday’s U.S. data showed slower job growth but decent wage inflation, which complicates the Fed’s policy outlook. The pace of U.S. tightening has been a big concern since the Fed raised rates in December.
“The Fed’s raising rates further in March isn’t the main scenario, but that possibility is still left open,” said Soichiro Monji, general manager for economic research at Daiwa SB Investments.
Slowing growth in China, recent sharp falls in crude oil prices and the fallout for the energy industry and oil-producing countries have also been major concerns for investors.
On Friday, the U.S. dollar rose and short-term U.S. government bond yields gained, factoring in a greater probability of an additional rate rise.
Commodity-related stocks fell in Tokyo following crude oil drops Friday. Oil distributor JX Holdings Inc. was down 3.7%. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. was 8.3% lower after lowering earnings projections, citing investment losses and lower nickel and copper prices.