BEIJING — Major Asian stock markets fell Monday after Japan reported weaker-than-expect growth in factory output and Chinese manufacturing growth was flat.
Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated while Seoul swung between small gains and losses.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week higher for a monthly gain in May of 0.5%.
Investors are wavering between optimism about consumer spending and factory output reviving and unease that rising inflation pressure might prompt governments and central banks to withdraw stimulus.
"It still feels like a market looking for direction in the face of uncertainty," said Patrik Schowitz of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,490.27 after an industry group and the ...