Asian stocks fell after China reported bigger-than-expected slides in exports and producer prices and U.S. jobs data boosted trader expectations for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase next month.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.1 percent to 140.89 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge has slumped the past three weeks amid efforts by Chinese authorities to stem equity-market declines and as investors analyzed U.S. economic data for clues as to the timing of the first U.S. interest-rate increase since 2006. Traders in interest-rate futures are pricing in a 54 percent probability of a hike next month.
Japan’s Topix index slid 0.4 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. Markets in Singapore are closed for a holiday.
Data on Friday showed U.S. employers added 215,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent. The gain in payrolls followed a 231,000 advance in June that was bigger than previously estimated. While the report also showed a pickup in hours worked, average hourly earnings climbed a less-than-forecast 2.1 percent from a year earlier.
Shipments from China shrank 8.3 percent in July, more than five times the drop projected by analysts, stoking concern over Asia’s largest economy, which is estimated to grow at its slowest pace this year since 1990. Producer prices posted their steepest slump since 2009, data showed Sunday.
Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell at least 0.5 percent Friday. Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index lost 0.2 percent, while those on the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index added 2.6 percent in most recent trading.