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Asia shares mostly down ahead of China data

Asian markets mostly fell Monday as investors await the release later in the week of Chinese economic data for June, while the dollar added to last week's gains following a strong US jobs report.

HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly fell Monday as investors await the release later in the week of Chinese economic data for June, while the dollar added to last week's gains following a strong US jobs report.

Tokyo shed 0.37 per cent, or 57.69 points, to finish at 15,379.44 and Sydney dipped 0.11 per cent, or 6.1 points, to close at 5,518.9, while Seoul lost 0.23 per cent, or 4.54 points, to 2,005.12.

Shanghai was flat, edging up 0.55 points to 2,059.93. Hong Kong also ended flat, edging down 5.44 points to 23,540.92.

With Wall Street closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday, there were few catalysts to drive regional markets after they ended last week mixed.

The Labor Department said Thursday the US economy added 288,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 per cent from 6.3 per cent in May. The figures were well above expectations of 215,000 and add to the sense that a recovery is well on track.

Focus is now on Beijing, where the government will Wednesday release inflation data, followed Thursday by trade statistics.

On currency markets the dollar maintained its recent gains against the yen that were boosted by the US jobs report.

The greenback bought 102.10 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, compared with 102.08 yen on Friday.

The euro was at $1.3577 and 138.62 yen against $1.3600 and 138.90 yen.

Oil prices were mixed. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery eased 12 cents to $103.94 while Brent crude rose nine cents to $110.73.

Gold fetched $1,313.58 an ounce at 0700 GMT compared with $1,322.84 late Friday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei edged up 0.11 per cent, or 10.15 points, to 9,520.2.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.74 per cent higher at Tw$136.0, while Formosa Plastics closed down 0.65 per cent at Tw$77.0.

-- Wellington was flat, edging down 2.55 points to 5,186.36.

Telecom fell 0.93 per cent to NZ$2,67 and Trade Me rose 1.67 per cent to NZ$3.65.

-- Manila rose 0.53 per cent, or 36.82 points, to 6,999.10.

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