December 8, 2023

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Asia stocks follow Wall St. down after weaker US jobs data | Business News

3 min read

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower on Friday after disappointing U.S. jobs and economic data.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia all declined.

Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% for its third straight daily decline.

Stocks retreated after the U.S. government reported 861,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week. Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed central bank officials believe the coronavirus pandemic still poses considerable risks to the economy.

In Washington, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress to avoid cutting President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion aid package. She said the economy is in “a deep hole” despite signs of improvement.

“The market is likely still on a reflation path, but the way will get choppier from here,” said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report. He said further improvement requires “continued economic growth recovery” because government and central bank support already are reflected in asset prices.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9% to 3,641.63 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 1% to 29,947.42. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.1% to 30,265.15.

The Kospi in South Korea retreated 1.2% to 3,048.03 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 tumbled 1.6% to 6,774.20. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.

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