Asian markets start week lower; Tokyo slumps 3 percent

AP News
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Posted: May 02, 2016 2:58 AM
Asian markets start week lower; Tokyo slumps 3 percent

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets fell Monday as investors registered their disappointment over the lack of fresh stimulus from Japan's central bank. The surge in the Japanese yen and bleak readings from a monthly factory managers' survey did little to lighten the gloom.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 slumped 3.1 percent to 16,147.38, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.8 percent to 1,978.15. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.1 percent to 5,312.00. Stocks in the Philippines and Indonesia were also lower. Markets in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan and Singapore were closed for a public holiday.

JAPAN'S MALAISE: The Bank of Japan's policy meeting on Thursday foiled expectations it might act to shore up flagging growth. Japan's markets were closed Friday for a national holiday, and with Monday's open came further disappointment with a monthly survey of purchasing managers showing a sharp deterioration in manufacturing conditions. The rise in the Japanese yen to nearly 105 yen to the dollar also is hurting exporters, whose overseas profits tend to gain in yen terms when the yen is weaker.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "While lingering disappointment from the Bank of Japan's inaction continues to weigh on Japanese markets, negative sentiment started filtering through to other global markets and this ripple effect should be closely monitored," said Stephen Innes, a senior foreign exchange trader at OANDA.

WALL STREET: On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3 percent to 17,773.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.5 percent to 2,065.30. The Nasdaq composite index lost 0.6 percent to 4,775.36.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 33 cents to $45.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 11 cents on Friday to close at $45.92. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 40 cents to $46.97 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 106.50 yen from 106.36 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1458 from $1.1447.