Japanese stocks fall again as trading week gets under way

A pedestrian checks Tokyo's Nikkei Stock Average closing information at a securities office in Tokyo, Japan.
A pedestrian checks Tokyo's Nikkei Stock Average closing information at a securities office in Tokyo, Japan.PHOTO: EPA

TOKYO (Bloomberg) - Japanese stocks fell for a second day, following U.S. equities lower after an American payrolls report gave little comfort to investors seeking direction on when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.

Toshiba Corp. slumped 1.9 percent after a report its net loss for the last fiscal year is more than 35 billion yen (US$293 million) following an accounting scandal. Toyota Motor Corp. lost 1.6 percent to be the biggest drag on the Topix index. Builder Haseko Corp. gained 0.8 percent and social media site operator DeNA Co. jumped 3.5 percent after the index compiler Nikkei Inc. said it would add the companies to the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

The Topix declined 1.5 percent to 1,422.33 as of 9:16 a.m. in Tokyo, with all of it 33 industry groups retreating, after the measure on Friday capped its longest losing weekly streak since February 2014. The Nikkei 225 lost 1.4 percent to 17,540.46. The yen traded at 119.12 per dollar after strengthening 0.9 percent on Friday. Mainland Chinese markets reopen Monday following a holiday.

"We're seeing the negative effects from China and emerging economies," said Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo. "The U.S. has started seeing that there's a risk of contagion as China's economy slows. The jobless rate fell, but labor participation was weaker. I think a rate hike in September will be difficult." U.S Futures Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.1 percent after the underlying measure dropped 1.5 percent on Friday, capping its second-worst weekly performance since December. U.S. market are closed on Monday for a holiday.

Data Friday showed U.S. employers added 173,000 workers in August and the jobless rate dropped to 5.1 percent. The gain in payrolls, while less than forecast, followed advances in July and June that were stronger than previously reported. The unemployment rate was the lowest since April 2008.

The jobs report was the last major data point before the Fed meets on Sept. 16-17 to discuss the timing of its first increase in interest rates in nearly a decade. Investors raised bets on a September liftoff to 30 percent from 26 percent before the jobs data. That's still less than the 48 percent odds predicted before China devalued the yuan on Aug. 11.

China Confident Mainland Chinese markets reopen Monday after a two-day holiday at the end of last week. Senior Chinese officials have telegraphed confidence in their economy's underlying solidity, predicting a stabilization in their stocks and currency in a presentation set to be tested in coming weeks.

With concerns about China's outlook helping trigger the biggest monthly sell-off in global stocks in more than three years in August, a gathering of Group of 20 finance chiefs in Turkey on Friday and Saturday focused on China's efforts to shore up its economy. People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in a statement that the rout in Chinese equities is close to ending, and that state intervention prevented systemic risk and stopped a free-fall.