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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Asian Shares Fall As Markets Watch Omicron, Central Banks

Asian shares mostly fell Monday, though Shanghai’s benchmark jumped after markets reopened from the Lunar New Year holidays. Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, and Hong Kong declined despite an unexpectedly positive US jobs report on Friday, Yuri Kageyama reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: The Bank of Japan

Investors were watching for moves by central banks in India, Indonesia, and Thailand, which are all set to decide on monetary policy within the week. This week brings earnings reports from some of the region’s biggest companies, including Japanese automakers. They may provide updates on shortages of computer chips and other disruptions and pressures related to the pandemic.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.8% to 27,229.97. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 7,110.80. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.4% to 2,738.42. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.3% to 24,501.54, while the Shanghai Composite added 2% to 3,427.81.

Wall Street closed out a mostly upbeat week with a mixed finish. Treasury yields surged after the blowout US jobs report raised investors’ expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon start raising interest rates sharply.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 4,500.53. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%, to 35,089.74 after a last-minute burst of selling. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.6% to 14,098.01.

The three indexes posted a weekly gain for the second week in a row. Smaller stocks in the Russell 2000 rose 0.6% to 2,002.36.

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