Shares in Asia Mixed On Monday Following US Job Numbers

Shares in Asia were mixed on Monday following strong US jobs numbers which lifted expectations the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its policy meeting in December.

The US economy added 271,000 jobs in October, far exceeding the 185,000 jobs that economists had forecast.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was down 1.33% in mid morning trade to 5,145.70 points.

While Japan’s Nikkei index was up 1.61% at 19,580.66 on a weaker yen.

The strong job numbers gave the US dollar a boost against the yen – which is good for Japan’s big exporters as it makes their goods cheaper to buy overseas.

“With (Fed chair) Janet Yellen holding firm on a December rate hike expectation during her testimony to Congress on Thursday, and then the massive beat from the non-farm payrolls on Friday, 2015 has been realigned with the beginning of the year’s expectations of at least one rate hike,” said Evan Lucas from IG Markets.

In South Korea the Kospi index was down 0.34% at 2,034.81 points.

Separately, Sydney-listed shares of mining giant BHP Billiton were down more than 3.5% on Monday following a fatal incident at an iron ore operation in Minas Gerais, Brazil on 5 November.

Two dams holding waste water from the mine collapsed on Thursday sending a huge wall of red sludge over the south-eastern village of Bento Rodrigues.

BHP said that details were still emerging regarding how many Samarco employees and contractors had been impacted by the incident.

“At this stage, Samarco has advised that there is at least one confirmed fatality with a further 13 members of the workforce missing,” the firm said.

The mine is a joint operation between BHP and Brazilian metal and mining giant Vale, while Samarco mining company owns the dams.

China’s markets

Investors will be closely watching stocks in China on Monday following disappointing trade numbers and after the country’s securities regulator said it would lift a five month ban on mainland initial public offerings (IPOs).

In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.74% at 3,652.59 while Hong Kong’sHang Seng index lost early gains and was down 0.07% at 22,846.13.

Official numbers released by China on the weekend showed a drop in the country’s imports for the twelfth month in a row in October

Imports fell 18.8% from a year earlier to $130.8bn, a slight improvement on September’s 20.4% decline – but still giving further cause for concern over the Chinese economy.

Exports by the world’s second-biggest economy dropped 6.9% to $192.4bn, marking a fourth consecutive monthly fall.

In their Hong Kong debut, shares of China International Capital Corp (CICC) – a large joint venture investment bank – were up as much as 6% in early trade. The lender, which is state-backed, raised $811m in its IPO last month.

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