Asian shares mixed following U.S. jobs report; Nikkei down 0.34%

Shutterstock photo - Most Asian stocks climbed Monday following the most recent U.S. jobs. The U.S. Labor Department said last Friday that employers in the world's largest economy added 155,000 new jobs last month, narrowly topping economists' expectations. The unemployment rose modestly to 7.8% from 7.7%.

In Asian trading Monday, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.34% despite more supportive comments about monetary easing from newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe reiterated his view that the Bank of Japan must take "bold" action to suppress the yen and raise its inflation target to 2%. The central bank is scheduled to meet on January 22 with traders widely expecting BoJ will raise its inflation target of 1% to match that of Abe's at 2%.

In a report, Bank of Japan said that Japan's Monetary Base rose to 11.8%, from 5.0% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Japan's Monetary Base to rise to 5.3% last month. The monetary base is closely linked to interest rates although Japan's interest have hardly any room to move lower.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.06% while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.17%. South Korea's Kospi fell modestly following press reports that indicated the Bank of Korea will not cut interest rates in the near-term despite a rising won, which could crimp profits for that country's exporters.

Among other issues this week, traders will turn their attention to the looming debt ceiling debate and monetary policy decisions by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. Of course, the looming debate on the U.S. debt ceiling will come into focus as well.

Following the contentious fiscal cliff debate, markets may be anticipating more of the same when it comes to the debt ceiling. Congressional Republicans have already signaled they will not move forward with a debt ceiling plan unless they secure a commitment from President Obama to significantly reduce government spending.

Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.1% while New Zealand's NZSE 50 added 0.24%. Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.13%. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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