TOKYO (Bloomberg) - Japanese stocks fell after data showed the weakest U.S. employment growth in more than a year, sending the yen higher and spurring declines in the nation's exporters.
The Topix index lost 0.7 per cent to 1,552.48 as of 9:00 a.m. in Tokyo after advancing 0.7 per cent last week. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 0.7 per cent to 19,291.05. The yen added 0.1 per cent to 118.84 per dollar after strengthening 0.6 percent Friday as the jobs report showed employers added 126,000 workers in March, the fewest since December 2013.
"We should see a correction in Japanese stocks as the stronger yen pushes down exporters," said Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo. "The U.S. economy has hit a soft patch due to the stronger dollar and weaker oil. First-quarter earnings and gross domestic product probably won't be good."
The 126,000 increase in jobs was weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 264,000 gain a month earlier that was smaller than initially reported, the Labor Department said. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a 245,000 advance.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.8 per cent from their close on April 2. U.S. cash equity markets were closed for a holiday on Friday. Alcoa Inc. unofficially kicks off U.S earnings season on April 8.