TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly lower Monday as a U.S. report that showed slowing hiring was seen as making a Federal Reserve rate hike as less likely but sent the dollar lower and fanned fears about the American economy.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.3 percent to 16,431.21 in early trading. South Korea's Kospi added 0.04 percent to 1,985.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent to 20,887.15, and the Shanghai Composite edged down 0.2 percent to 2,933.75.
US FACTOR: Downbeat jobs data released Friday appeared to convince traders that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low longer than previously expected. It also stirred concerns that the economy is slowing. The Labor Department reported the U.S. economy added 38,000 jobs in May, the lowest in five years.
WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31.50 points, or 0.2 percent, to finish the week at 17,807.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 6.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,099.13. The Nasdaq composite index gave up 28.85 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,942.52.
THE QUOTE: The U.S. employment figure "not only derails a potential summer Fed hike, but also increases the odds of the Fed remaining on hold through 2016, let alone two rate hikes. Employment has been the backbone of the US economy over the last year, and the employment report has been a lifeboat for the Fed when other fundamental indicators turn unsupportive. Where to from here?" says Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA Asia Pacific.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 40 cents to $49.02 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 32 cents to $49.96 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar traded at 106.80 yen, down from 108.92 yen late last week in Asia. The euro stood at $1.1344, up from $1.1155.
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