Asian stocks lower after end of May on Wall St with gains

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BEIJING (AP) – Major Asian stock markets fell on Monday after Japan reported weaker than expected industrial production growth and Chinese manufacturing growth was flat.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong fell while Seoul swung between small gains and small losses.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 ended up last week for a monthly gain of 0.5% in May.

Investors are hesitating between optimism about consumer spending and the resumption of factory production and concern that mounting inflationary pressure could prompt governments and central banks to withdraw stimulus measures.

“It still looks like a market looking for direction in the face of uncertainty,” Patrik Schowitz of JP Morgan Asset Management said in a report.


The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3% to 3,490.27 after an industry group and the national statistics agency said manufacturing activity remained stable in May, adding to signs that a rebound stabilized.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.8% to 28,928.69 after retail sales in May fell 4.5% from the previous month and factory output for the first time exceeded pre-pandemic levels, but the 2.5% growth was below expectations.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.4% to 28,995.86 while the Kospi in Seoul edged up less than 0.1% to 3,190.63.

The Sydney S & P-ASX 200 was off less than 0.1% at 7,174.60. New Zealand and Jakarta won while Singapore fell.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended up 0.1% on Friday at 4,204.11.

The index ended in May after a few bumpy weeks of selling by investors who focused on the conflict between economic recovery and inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% to 34,529.45. The highly technological Nasdaq gained 0.1% to 13,748.74.

The US Department of Commerce said on Friday that personal consumption spending, a measure of inflation used by the Federal Reserve, rose 3.6% in April. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation of 3.1%, well above the Fed’s long-term target of 2%.

Fed officials said earlier that the economy would be allowed to “heat up” to ensure a recovery is established, but investors feared the United States and other central banks might feel pressured to back down. withdraw their stimulus measures after unexpected increases in the prices of consumer goods and certain commodities. They were at least temporarily reassured by comments from Fed officials that it is too early to change direction.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose 36 cents to $ 66.68 per barrel on electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 43 cents on Friday to $ 66.32 a barrel. Brent, used for the price of international oils, added 28 cents to $ 69.00 a barrel in London. It gained 17 cents the previous session to $ 69.63.

The dollar fell to 109.67 Japanese yen from 109.81 yen on Friday. The euro gained $ 1.2202 against $ 1.2197.



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