Asian shares fell for the first time in nine days on Monday with telecommunication and technology shares leading the declines.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.5% to 139 as of 9:48 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index slid 1.2% as the yen held gains from 4 April, trading at 103.26 per dollar. The Bank of Japan, which begins a two-day policy meeting today, may double purchases of exchange-traded funds as part of a second round of easing, analysts polled by Bloomberg say.
In the US, payrolls increased 192,000 last month after a 197,000 gain in February that was larger than first estimated, the Labour Department reported on 4 April in Washington.
Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said the pace of employment growth in the US means the Fed will continue to wind down bond purchases and then consider raising interest rates.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.8%, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.2% and Taiwan’s Taiex index dropped 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.1% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.3%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.8%.
Markets in mainland China and Thailand are closed for a holiday.
In corporate news, Naver Corp. slumped 4.7% in Seoul and SoftBank Corp. lost 4.3% in Tokyo as telecom and technology shares slid.
Fanuc Corp., a Japanese maker of factory equipment, plunged 1.9%, leading industrial firms lower.On the positive side, Japanese drug company Daiichi Sankyo Co. rose 4% percent after Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. agreed to buy Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. in a $4 billion stock deal. Daiichi owns 63.5% of Ranbaxy.