RTTNews - Asian markets ended in negative territory on Friday following losses in Wall Street, where the major indices ended sharply lower after the Labor Department released weaker job report for June, denting recovery hopes. Holiday in the U.S towards Independence Day and lack of trading cues characterized in thin volumes across the markets as traders preferred to stay on the sidelines on the last trading day of the week.. The market in India, however, ended in positive territory on expectations of a reform-oriented growth budget from a stronger Congress Government slated for release on the first day of next week.

In the U.S, disappointing employment data for June dragged the indices sharply lower amid fresh concerns about growth prospects. A Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 467,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 322,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a decrease of about 365,000 jobs compared to the loss of 345,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Amid the weak employment report, traders shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing that orders for manufactured goods rose 1.2% in May following a downwardly revised 0.5% increase in April. Economists had expected orders to rise 0.9% compared to the 0.7% increase originally reported for the previous month.

The Dow closed down by 223.32 points or 2.6% at 8,281, the Nasdaq fell by 49.20 points or 2.7% to 1,797, and the S&P 500 closed down 26.91 points or 2.9% at 896.ended in negative territory on Thursday as traders preferred to lock in gains ahead of key job report in the U.S.

The Nikkei 225 Average opened sharply lower at 9,751 compared to its previous close of 9,876, mirroring the losses on Wall Street, following weak jobs report. Thin volume trading as the U.S markets are closed for a holiday, lack of trading cues and concerns about recovery kept the index in the negative territory throughout the session. The index ended at 9,816, representing a loss of 60.08 points, or 0.61%. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues down 3.40 points, or 0.37% percent, to 921.

Light sweet crude for August delivery ended at $66.79, up 6 cents in the Asian session after ending Thursday's volatile session in New York at $66.73, representing a loss of $2.58 a barrel amid concerns about the recovery after weak jobs report.

Retailer Seven & I dropped 5% following 28% drop in earnings for the latest quarter. Clothing retailer, Fast Retailing Co., lost 2.9% after recording lower customer spending during June. Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. Plunged 4.9%.

Banks declined on concerns about recovery. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial edged down 0.50%, Mizuho Financial slipped 0.87%, Chiba Bank decreased 0.97%. However, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial remained unchanged from previous close.

Among metals, Sumitomo Metal Mining edged down 0.49%, Pacific Metals fell 0.92% and Nippon Steel lost 1.10%.

Shipping companies ended weaker following drop in Baltic Dry Index, which measures the costs for commodities. Mitsui O.S.K declined about 3%, Nippon Yuesen fell 0.91% and Kawasaki Kisen fell 1.30%.

In Australia, the All Ordinaries Index opened lower at 3,860 compared to previous close at 3,875 and drifted sharply lower, mirroring Wall Street losses. The index continued to move sidewards following sharp drop and finally ended the day in the negative territory with a a loss of 48.60 points, or 1.25%, at 3,827. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended at 3,828, representing a loss of 49.10 points, or 1.27%.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australia Industry Group and the Commonwealth Bank revealed that service sector activity expanded for the first time in 15 months in June, on the back of rising consumer confidence, low interest rates and the government's stimulus package. The seasonally adjusted Performance of Services Index rose 10.3 points from the previous month to 50.2 in June, marginally above the threshold level of 50.

Metal stocks ended lower following lower metal prices in London Metal Exchange. BHP Billiton lost 2.54%, Rio Tinto fell 4.15%, Oz Minerals shed 2.82% and Minara Resources declined 2.52%.

Among oil companies, Woodside Petroleum edged down 0.55%, and Santos fell 1.88% and Oil Search lost 1.10%.

Gold stocks also ended weaker Lihir Gold lost 2.68%, Newcrest Mining fell 2.88%, and Sino Gold declined 2.65%.

Mixed trading was witnessed among the financial stocks. While ANZ Bank edged up 0.12%, Commonwealth Bank Australia slipped 0.61%, and Westpac Banking lost 1.33%. National Australia Bank however remained unchanged from previous close.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index opened sharply lower at 17,961 compared to its previous close at 18,178, following losses in Wall Street on weak employment data. China related stocks helped the index inch past the unchanged line amid thin volume as traders prefered to stay away ahead of the upcoming earnings season. The index finally ended the session in positive territory with a gain of 25.35 points, or 0.14%, at 18,203.

China related stocks and resource stocks helped the index move into the green. Coal-miner China Shenhua surged 5.06%. Auminum Corp of China, or CHALCO, gained 2.03%, and PetroChina gained 3.63%. However, CNOOC ended lower by 0.64%.

Property stocks showed mixed response. While Swire Pacific gained 1.16% and Henderson Land Development edged up 0.23%,, Wharf Holdings lost 2.07%, Hang Lung Property fell 2.45% and SHK Property slipped 0.57%.

Financial stocks ended in positive territory on growth prospects in mainland China. HSBC Holdings edged up 0.08%, Hang Seng Bank remained unchanged from previous close; BOC Hong Kong gained 2.45%, and ICBC advanced 4.15%.

In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI Index in the positive territory defying weak global cues and geopolitical risks after North Korea tested nuclear weapons yet again on Thursday. The market opened sharply higher at 1,389 compared to previous close at 1,411 on weak cues from Wall Street. However, selective buying in blue chip technology stocks on optimism about recovery offset the weak cues across the Asian markets. Volume was moderate as traders preferred to stay on the sidelines, as the U.S market is closed for a holiday. The index finally ended with a gain of 8.56 points or 0.61% at 1,420.

Chip giant Hynix Semiconductor advanced 2.4% on expectation of higher prices for the key chips. Internet portal operator NHN gained more than 4% after the company announced that it has launched a test version of its upgraded search engine in Japan in an effort to capture the lucrative Japanese market.

Among other major companies, Flat panel giant LG Display rose 3.54%; and Kia Motors advanced 2.36%.

In India, the stock market ended in the positive territory, defying the weak global cues, ahead of the key annual budget from the Congress Government for the year 2009-10, slated for release on Monday, July 6th.

The BSE Sensex finished at 14,913 up 254.56 points or 1.74% from its previous close, and the broader Nifty Index gained 75.41 points, or 1.73% to close at 4,424.

Among other major markets in the region, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 28.11 points, or 0.92% to close at 3,088 and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index edged up 0.46% or 9.55 points, to close at 2,075. Taiwas Weighted Index edged down 2.13 points, or 0.03%, to close at 6,665, and the Strait Times Index in Singapore lost 21.07 points, or 0.91% to close at 2,300.

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