Tokyo, Japan (BBN )-Japan’s Nikkei 225 opened 0.8 per cent lower on Tuesday following a raft of official data that dented investor sentiment.
One of the first numbers out showed Japan’s jobless rate rose slightly to 3.3 per cent in February, up from 3.2 per cent in January, despite labour demand remaining at the highest level in two decades, reports BBC.
The unemployment rate had been expected to remain unchanged at 3.2 per cent.
The Nikkei later recovered slightly to be down 0.4 per cent to 17,074.77 points.
Analysts said Japan could see a fall in the jobless rate in the coming months.
“[Japan’s] job-to-applicant suggests that the unemployment rate could fall below 3 per cent in coming months even though the ratio held steady at 1.28 last month,” said economist Marcel Thieliant.
Other official numbers released on Tuesday showed that household spending rose 1.2 per cent in February compared with the same month last year, against expectations for a decline of 1.5 per cent.
Retail sales rose 0.5 per cent in February against expectations for a year on year rise of 1.7 per cent.
In Australia, markets opened lower after the extended Easter weekend.
Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.8 per cent to 5,043.4 points after lunch.
In China, the Hang Seng index also opened and was flat in morning trade, down just 0.04 per cent to 20,334.96.
The Shanghai Composite was down 0.24 per cent to 2,950.45.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index was the one bright spot in the region, up 0.34 per cent to 1,988.68 points.