Stock Market Today: Mixed Stocks in Asia Ahead of Jobs and Inflation Updates

TOKYO — Asian stocks traded mixed on Monday as investors awaited a raft of US economic data due later in the week.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.8% in morning trading to 33,159.03. S from Australia&The P/ASX 200 added 0.6% to 7,118.40. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3% to 2,513.03. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.6% to 16,736.45, while the Shanghai Composite lost less than 0.1% to 3,029.42.

China Evergrande shares traded in Hong Kong rose 7% after a Hong Kong court postponed a hearing on its plan to restructure its huge debts until January 29. The company faces possible liquidation if creditors reject its restructuring plan.

Among the economic updates due this week is data on the labor market, including the closely watched US government’s November monthly employment report.

“Traders are bracing for a slew of actionable U.S. economic data due this week that will be crucial in refining traders’ expectations for Federal Reserve policy. The insights gained from this data can be critical,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

Inflation data is also expected this week for several Asian nations, including Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.

Wall Street ended last week with a fifth consecutive gain, as the S&The P 500 hit its highest level in more than a year, gaining 0.6%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.8%, while the Nasdaq composite added 0.6%. Winners outnumbered losers by about 6 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The view that the US Federal Reserve is finally done raising interest rates to reduce inflation has been a plus for the markets. The data appears to show that inflation is declining since last year.

A U.S. government report on Friday showed construction spending continued to rise in October, beating economists’ growth forecasts.

Treasury yields have been falling broadly amid sentiment that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate-hiking policy is over and potentially headed for a reversal. On Friday, the 10-year Treasury yield, which influences mortgage rates, rose to 4.25% from 4.21% on Friday. In October it reached 5.00%.

The two-year Treasury yield fell to 4.55% from 4.70% late Thursday. Falling bond yields have helped ease pressure on stocks, especially technology stocks.

Investors entered December on track to close the year with solid gains. For the year, the S&The P 500 rose 19.7% and the Nasdaq composite rose 36.7%. Shares of smaller companies have also recently risen for the year following the recent market rally. The Russell 2000 index is now up 5.8% for the year.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 34 cents to $73.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Overall, oil prices have been declining for several months. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 44 cents to $78.44 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar slowly fell to 146.56 Japanese yen from 146.76 yen. The euro was at $1.0884, little changed from $1.0885.

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