This Article is From Jul 07, 2014

Asia Shares Mostly Lower Ahead of China Data

Hong Kong:

Asian markets mostly fell Monday as investors look ahead to the release later in the week of key Chinese economic data for June, while the dollar added to last week's gains following a strong US jobs report.

Tokyo was a touch higher thanks to a weaker yen but Hong Kong lost 0.10 per cent, Shanghai eased 0.14 per cent, Seoul shed 0.41 per cent and Sydney slipped 0.11 per cent.

With Wall Street closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday, there were few catalysts to drive regional business after ending last week mixed.

The Labor Department said Thursday the US economy added 288,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 per cent in May. The figures were well above expectations of 215,000 and add to the sense that a recovery is well on track.

Focus is now on Beijing, where the government will Wednesday release inflation data followed Thursday by trade statistics.

On currency markets the dollar maintained its recent gains against the yen that were boosted by the US jobs report.

The greenback bought 102.17 yen in early Tokyo trade, compared with 102.08 yen on Friday.

The euro was at $1.3582 and 138.77 yen against $1.3600 and 138.90 yen.

Oil prices edged lower. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery eased 27 cents to $103.79 while Brent crude for August was down five cents to $110.59.

Gold fetched $1,316.40 an ounce at 0230 GMT compared with $1,322.84 late Friday.