Asia Tumbles as U.S. Rate Drops Less Likely

Stocks in Asia were lower on Monday after a strong jobs report last Friday stateside moderated expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon be making a move on interest rates.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 212.03 points, or 1%, to 21,534.75

The Japanese yen traded at 108.31 against the U.S. dollar after seeing levels below 107.6 last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index plummeted 443.14 points, or 1.5%, to 28,331.69, following another round of protests that rocked the city on Sunday.

Korea gave ground, as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 2.7%.

The moves came as Tokyo and Seoul remain locked in a dispute over forced wartime labour, with Japan imposing tighter restrictions last week on the export of high-tech materials used in smartphone displays and chips to South Korea.

In Australia, shares of major miners slipped on news of a probe by Chinese steelmakers on the surge in iron ore prices. Rio Tinto shed 1% and BHP Billiton fell 1.8%

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6987 following levels above $0.702 seen in the previous week.

Last Friday, the U.S. jobs report showed the economy stateside adding 224,000 jobs in June, well above the forecast number of 165,000 jobs by economists in a Dow Jones survey. That came following a dismal jobs print in May.

The solid U.S. payrolls report dampened Fed rate cut expectations and severely dented the argument for a 50-basis-point rate cut by the end of the month

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 surrendered 90.41 points, or 2.3%, to 3,802.78

In Korea, the Kospi index subtracted 46.42 points, or 2.2%, to 2,064.17

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index slipped 32.58 points, or 1%, to 3,334.23

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index faded 34.51 points, or 0.3%, to 10,751.22

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dipped 9.49 points, or 0.1%, to 10,605.98

In Australia, the ASX 200 reversed 79.08 points, or 1.2%, to 6,672.20