HONG KONG: Asian markets were mostly lower on Tuesday following a weak set of data out of the United States that added to recent concerns about the global economy.
The losses came despite a positive lead from Wall Street, which saw the downbeat US figures as a counterweight to talk that the Federal Reserve will start reeling in its monetary easing.
Tokyo was 0.35 percent lower by the break, Hong Kong fell 0.26 percent, Sydney was down 0.19 percent, Seoul lost 0.19 percent.
In Shanghai shares fell again, losing 0.30 percent, after HSBC released the results of a survey showing manufacturing activity in the world’s number two economy shrank in May.
In Washington the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index (PMI) on US manufacturing slumped into negative territory in May, for the first time since November.
Also, the Commerce Department said construction spending in April rose 0.4 percent, less than half of the increase expected.
The news put pressure on the dollar, which had earlier in the day fallen back below the 100 yen level.
The dollar was trading at 99.54 yen in early trade, against 99.52 yen in New York late Monday. The euro bought $1.3066 and 130.10 yen compared with $1.3076 and 130.13 yen in US trade.
“Given that the dollar had an incredible run in the month of May people were looking for a chance to lock in profits, and weak data from the US was that opportunity,” said Tim Waterer, senior trader at CMC Markets in Sydney.
The Dow jumped 0.92 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.59 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.27 percent.
Dealers will be keeping tabs on the United States later this week, with the release of non-farm payroll data, which will give a better idea of the state of the economy.
Oil prices fell in the morning, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July dropping 36 cents to $93.09 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery shedding three cents to $102.03.
Gold was at $1,411.89 by 0230 GMT from $1,394.80 late Monday.