Asian markets mixed on 5 August
A pedestrian holding walks past a stock quotation board displaying various stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, in July, 2011

Asian stocks outside China retreated on Monday following the weak US monthly jobs report. However, upbeat economic data from China stemmed losses.

The Shanghai Composite index was trading 0.55% higher or 11.09 points to 2,040.51

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.16% higher or 28.84 points to 22,219.81.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 1.44% lower or 208.12 points to 14,258.04.

South Korea's Kospi finished 0.37% lower or 7.16 points to 1,916.22 points.

Australia's S&P/ASX index finished 0.11% lower or 5.50 points to 5,109.30. Market participants will be tracking Australia's interest rate decision due on Tuesday. Economists predict that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will lower its official interest rate to 2.50% from a historic low of 2.75%.

The US economy created fewer jobs in July, compared to June, just as the jobless rate fell to its lowest in over four years that month. The economy added 162,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in July while the unemployment rate fell to 7.4%.

In China, an HSBC survey pegged China's Services Business Activity Index for July at 51.3, indicating an improvement in activity, and unchanged from the level seen in the June survey.

The figure followed results from a government survey that showed that the services sector picked up in July despite weakness in the manufacturing sector, a sign that the country's recently introduced stimulus measures for small firms seem to be working.

In Japan, a Nikkei newspaper report showed that the consolidatedpre-tax profits for the 668 listed companies that have announced earnings so far rose an average 42% in the April-to-June first quarter compared to a year ago.

Last week, stock markets across Asia ended on a higher note. The Japanese Nikkei led the pack, while South Korea's Kospi trailed.

Wall Street Logs Modest Gains

On Wall Street, indices logged modest gains on 1 August despite a weak monthly jobs report.

Both the Dow and the S&P 500 logged fresh closing highs. The Dow finished 0.19% higher at 15,658.36. The S&P 500 ended 0.16% higher at 1,709.67 while the Nasdaq closed 0.38% higher at 3,689.59.

Company Stock Movements

In Shanghai, Guangzhou Shipyard and China State Shipyard shot up 8% each after the government said that the sector could see some consolidation, benefiting big firms at the expense of smaller ones.

Dairy companies Biostime and China Modern Dairy jumped 8% and 6% respectively on news that has halted milk powder imports from Australia and New Zealand.

Last week, China's quality watchdog has asked the country's importers to recall milk products supplied by the New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-operative Group after the company found a strain of bacteria in some products.

In Hong Kong, shares of China Resources Land shot up 2.5%, media firm Tencent Holdings gained 1.3%.

Bank of China added 0.9% after the release of the Chinese services-sector data.

In Seoul, index heavyweight Samsung Electronics lost over $1bn in market value early Monday after its stock price dropped 0.6% following a US government decision to veto an import ban on some Apple devices in the US.

Steelmaker POSCO shed 0.5%. LG Electronics, however, gained 2% on a stronger yen. A stronger Japanese yen makes Korean exports more price-competitive.

In Tokyo, shipbuilder Hitachi Zosen lost almost 9% after it reported a higher operating loss, compared to the previous year.

Insurer T&D Holdings dropped 4.3% while banking major Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was down 2%.

NTT Data fell 1.6% while testing equipment maker Advantest shed 1.3%.

The world's top automaker Toyota Motor shed 0.6% despite reporting higher-than-expected earnings and raising its profit forecast.

Rival Isuzu Motor rose 0.2% after reporting a 50% jump in operating profit for the April-June first quarter.

Yachiyo Bank and Tokyo Tomin Bank rose 7% and 3% respectively on news that the two firms have begun talks to integrate operations by autumn 2014.

In Sydney, Uranium miner Paladin Energy tanked 28%, after the company put on hold its plans to sell a minority interest in an African mine, and instead raised funds through a private placement of shares.

Carrier Virgin Australia fell 3.3% after its warned of a yearly loss of up to A$110m ($97.8m).

Banking stocks were trading lower. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 0.6% while Macquarie Group was down 0.3%.