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Asia markets slip as Japan real wages fall for 26th straight month; China stocks drop for fifth day

Drone point view of the Shanghai skyline at sunrise.

Aerialperspective Images | Moment | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets opened mixed on Monday as investors awaited key economic data from the U.S. and China later this week, while election results in France overnight signaled a hung parliament.

France’s left-wing New Popular Front coalition on Sunday unexpectedly thwarted a far-right advance, clinching the largest number of seats but falling short of an absolute majority in a parliamentary run-off vote.

Investors await the U.S. consumer price index reading, due Thursday stateside, to assess the Federal Reserve’s interest rate path, while China’s inflation figures on Wednesday will signal the state of the country’s economic recovery.

Central bank decisions from South Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia will also be announced this week, although no changes are expected, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down marginally, while the broad-based Topix was 0.36% lower. The losses come as Japan’s real wages fell for a 26th straight month.

Data from the country’s ministry of health, labor and welfare indicated that real wages fell 1.4% year on year in May, although nominal wages rose 1.9% to 297,151 yen ($1,850). May’s number was also the fastest wage increase in 11 months.

South Korea’s Kospi was trading close to the flatline, and the small-cap Kosdaq climbed 0.86%. Shares of heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 0.46%, despite the company’s largest union slated to begin a three day strike on Monday.

Reuters reported the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), which has about 28,000 members, has demanded that the company improve its performance-based bonus system and give workers an extra day of annual leave.

It is not immediately clear how many workers will join the strike, but the union’s poll found about 8,100 members saying they would do so as of Monday morning.

Hong Kong Hang Seng index dropped 0.46%, while the mainland Chinese CSI300 slid 0.3%, on pace for a fifth day of losses and marking its lowest level since February.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.36%, on pace for a second straight day of losses.

On Friday in the U.S., the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose to new highs, with both indexes posting a record close as the latest jobs report reignited hopes for rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

The broad market index advanced 0.54%, closing at 5,567.19, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.90% to end at 18,352.76.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.17%.

—CNBC’s Pia Singh and Alex Harring contributed to this report.



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