Most Asian Equities Trade Lower as Investors Wait for China Inflation Data

Most Asian shares traded lower on Monday, following a mixed US employment report and a reversal of Wall Street’s gains, while investors await China’s inflation data and trade balance later this week.

As of 9.38 A.M. Bangkok time, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.10%. The Bank of Japan will announce its July 28 meeting minutes, after having revised its position on its yield curve control strategy.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.32%, while South Korea’s Kospi was up marginally. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged marginally higher, while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China lost 0.64%.

U.S. benchmarks S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell for a fourth consecutive session on Friday, marking their worst weeks since March as investors sought to take profits after last week’s corporate earnings reports and U.S. employment data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.43%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.53%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.36%.

Friday’s employment report showed both optimists and skeptics with a softer-than-expected 187,000 increase in payrolls and higher-than-anticipated wage gains and a declining unemployment rate.

About 40% of swap traders predicted that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by a quarter point by the end of the year. They predicted that rates would be reduced by around 125 basis points by the end of 2024.

Fed policymakers Raphael Bostic and Austan Goolsbee have recently hinted that the central bank may soon need to shift its focus from the pace of US employment gains to the question of how long to retain rates at elevated levels. However, FOMC member Michelle Bowman has said that additional rate hikes may be required to properly restore price stability.

On Tuesday, China will announce its trade balance for May, and on Wednesday, the country’s inflation figures will be released.