Asian markets down on Wall Street lead

<p>Wall Street investors speculated over the timing of a US rate hike.</p>

Asian shares were mostly down today (September 7th) after a weak overnight session on Wall Street as investors speculated over the timing of a US rate hike.

US stocks ended last Friday on a subdued note after the nonfarm payrolls report showed that 173,000 jobs were created in August, missing expectations. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected 220,000 extra jobs in August, following a 215,000 rise in July. 

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.7 per cent to 16,102.38, the Standard & Poor's 500 edged down 1.5 per cent to 1,921.22 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 1.1 per cent to 4,683.92.

Meanwhile, China's share markets reopened after being closed for two days last week for World War II commemorations. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index closed down 2.5 per cent in a volatile session.

People's Bank of China (PBoC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan sought to reassure markets, saying that China's stock market has almost completed its correction after a bubble formed in the first half of the year.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.2 per cent at 20,583.52, while Seoul's Kospi edged down 0.1 per cent to 1,883.22. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.2 per cent to 5,030.42, while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gain 0.4 per cent to 17,860.47.

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