Japanese shares fell, after the Topix index capped its best three weeks since 2014, as investors weighed a surge in U.S. hiring that came with negative wage growth and China set a weaker growth target for this year.
The Topix lost 0.4 percent to 1,371.82 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with about eight shares rising for each that fell. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.4 percent to 16,947.68. Friday’s U.S. jobs report showed employers added 242,000 workers in February, more than projected, though wages unexpectedly declined. The yen was little changed against the dollar at 113.71.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.2 percent. The underlying equity gauge closed 0.3 percent higher on Friday, bringing its run during the past three weeks to 7.3 percent. The additions to U.S. jobs in February exceeded economists’ forecasts for 195,000 jobs, sending the unemployment rate to its lowest since 2009. Average hourly earnings dropped, the first monthly decline in more than a year.
China outlined over the weekend a growth range of 6.5 percent to 7 percent for 2016, with 6.5 percent pegged as the baseline through 2020. That would be less than last year’s 6.9 percent rate, the slowest growth in a quarter century. The government also abandoned its trade target, underscoring the degree of uncertainty about prospects for global growth.