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Asian Shares Slide On Fed Rate Hike Worries


Asian stocks retreated on Monday as strong U.S. jobs data for September added to worries about rising interest rates and investors brushed aside central bank policy loosening in China. The Japanese markets were closed for the Health-Sports day holiday.

China's Shanghai Composite Index plunged 104.84 points 3.7 percent to finish at 2,716.51 as traders returned to their desks after a week-long holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 370.00 points or 1.4 percent to 26,202.57.

Investors brushed aside a move by the People's Bank of China to cut the reserve requirements for banks in order to lower financing costs and spur growth amid a trade war with the U.S.

Meanwhile, China's private sector logged moderate growth in September as improved services activity was offset by softer manufacturing growth, survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The Caixin composite output index rose marginally to 52.1 from 52.0 in August. The services PMI signaled the strongest increase in activity in three months, while manufacturing production showed a marginal pace of expansion that was the weakest since October 2017.

Australian markets fell the most in more than four weeks, dragged down by financials and material stocks after a steep sell-off in U.S. Treasuries.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slumped 85.20 points or 1.4 percent to 6,100.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 82.50 points or 1.3 percent at 6,218.60.

Lender ANZ lost 2.6 percent after it drastically increased the amount of money it expects to pay for various costs related to customer compensation. The other three banks fell around 1 percent. Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gave up 2.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively amid declining copper and aluminum prices.

Alumina plummeted 6.9 percent as London aluminum prices fell more than 3 percent after a Brazilian court approved emergency waste measures that could allow the world's biggest alumina refinery to resume production.

Meanwhile, MYOB Group shares jumped over 19 percent after U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co lunched a $1.2 billion buyout offer for the accounting software provider.

Seoul stocks extended losses for the sixth straight session as foreign investors remained net sellers amid concerns over a faster pace of U.S. rate rises. The benchmark Kospi shed 13.69 points or 0.6 percent to close at a seven-week low of 2,253.83.

Financials, automakers and oil refineries were among the prominent decliners, with Mirae Asset Daewoo, Hyundai Motor and SK Innovation losing 1-2 percent.

New Zealand shares fell sharply on concerns about the outlook for China's economy. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 67.77 points or 0.7 percent to 9,147.10. Banks paced the declines, with ANZ tumbling as much as 2.4 percent after a profit warning.

U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday as a strong jobs report pushed bond yields higher and added to worries about rising interest rates. The Dow dropped 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.6 percent.

While the Labor Department report showed weaker than expected job growth in September, a significant upward revision to the pace of job growth in August and a fall in the jobless rate to its lowest level since 1969 kept the Fed firmly on track to continue raising rates once a quarter, with the next hike likely to come in December.

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