Asian stocks down ahead of China, US data

Asian stocks down ahead of China, US data

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly lower Monday following Wall Street's loss last week as investors looked ahead to Chinese & U.S. economic data.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.1 percent to 17,677.12 & China's Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.6 percent at 3,074.81. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.8 percent to 5,080.90. Stocks in Southeast Asia were lower. Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan & South Korea were closed for holidays.

CHINA, US OUTLOOK: Investors who worry China's economic downturn might deepen were looking ahead to purchasing managers indexes due Thursday for manufacturing & service industries. A private measure of U.S. payrolls is due out Wednesday, followed by government employment data Friday. Analysts say they see no signs the U.S. labor market is weakening after the Commerce Department raised its estimate of economic growth in the April-June quarter. That could assist to support sentiment in the U.S. Federal Reserve in favor of an interest rate rise by the end of this year.

p>THE QUOTE: "Investor attention will turn to the macro this week," said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. "The huge news will flow from China & the USA. Concerns approximately economic growth in China make this Thursday's official & private PMIs crucial. The manufacturing & non-manufacturing data will drop side by side, offering a snapshot of where China stands right now. On Friday, U.S. non-farm payrolls will speak directly to the potential for an October rate rise."

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks suffered their third weekly loss this month after health care stocks slumped on Friday. Banks, insurance companies & brokerages climbed after Fed chief Janet Yellen said policymakers would likely raise interest rates this year. Investors are uneasy approximately the potential impact of slowing growth in China & other emerging markets. On Friday, the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.9 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,931.34. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 113.35 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,314.67. The Nasdaq composite fell 47.98 points, or 1 percent, to 4,686.50. The S&P 500 closed down 1.4 percent for the week, the Dow was 0.4 percent lower.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 45 cents to $45.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 81 cents on Friday to $45.70. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 45 cents to $48.82 in London after rising 41 cents the previous session to $49.27.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 120.34 yen from Friday's 120.66 yen. The euro was little changed at $1.1196 from $1.1195.

Source: “Associated Press”