Asian stocks rise as survey shows Chinese services picking up

BEIJING (AP) — Major Asian stock markets rose on Monday after Wall Street fell and a survey showed the slowdown in Chinese services activity eased in May as virus checks on Shanghai and other major cities were surveyed.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong rose.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 lost 1.6% on Friday amid concerns about rising interest rates and a possible economic slowdown and job losses.

A survey showed activity in China’s retail and other service industries declined in May, but at a slower pace than the previous month. The ruling Communist Party is allowing shops, factories and other businesses in Shanghai to reopen after a two-month shutdown to fight virus outbreaks. Restrictions in the capital, Beijing, are easing.

“Some pockets of optimism may come from further easing of virus restrictions in Beijing,” IG’s Yeap Jun Rong said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2% to 3,233.73 after business news magazine Caixin said its monthly purchasing managers’ index for services rose to 41.4 from 36, 2 in April on a 100 point scale where numbers below 50 show a contraction in activity.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.4% to 21,379.67 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.7% to 27,956.19. Korean markets were closed for a holiday.

Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.3% to 7,215.90 as New Zealand markets were closed for a holiday.

The India Sensex opened 0.6% lower at 55,559.30. Southeast Asian markets fell.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 4,108.54 for its eighth weekly loss in the past nine weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1% to 32,899.70. The Nasdaq fell 2.5% to 12,012.73.

Government data showed U.S. employers added 390,000 jobs in May, beating expectations of 322,500.

Investors are worried that the Federal Reserve’s interest rates aimed at cooling inflation, which is at its highest level in four decades, could tip the US economy into a recession.

The same government report showed wages were slightly lower than expected in May, which could reduce future upward pressure on prices. This would reduce the pressure on the Fed for further rate hikes.

More than four out of five S&P 500 stocks fell. The biggest declines were in tech stocks.

Tesla fell 9.2% after U.S. safety regulators said more than 750 owners complained about cars suddenly stopping on the roads for no apparent reason while using their partially automated driving systems.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 70 cents to $119.57 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $2 on Friday at $118.87. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trade, advanced from $72 to $120.44 a barrel in London. It closed $2.11 higher than the previous session at $119.72.

The dollar fell to 130.72 yen from 130.85 yen on Friday. The Euro rose slightly to $1.0724 from $1.0720.

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