Asia stocks buoyed by US jobs data

SINGAPORE - Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei stocks rose to their highest level in more than three months on Monday, buoyed by stronger-than-expected US jobs growth which raised optimism about the world’s largest economy.

By (Reuters)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 4 Sep 2006, 2:09 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:14 PM

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index jumped 1.39 percent, led by exporters such as Canon Inc. and Nikon, while MSCI’s broadest index of shares elsewhere in Asia was up more than 1.0 percent at 0600 GMT.

In London, spread betters were calling the FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX indexes flat to 17 points higher.

“Those who have been cautious were rushing to buy stocks after the job data, trying not to miss the boat,” said Kenichi Azuma, equity strategist at Japan’s Cosmo Securities Co Ltd.

US stocks had ended at their highest in several months on Friday on data showing US employers added a slightly higher-than-expected number of workers to their payrolls in August.

The data also showed wage inflation slowing down, providing evidence of a cooler, but still solid, pace of economic growth that could let the Federal Reserve hold interest rates steady.

In Seoul, the benchmark KOSPI closed at its highest for over three months, rising 0.18 percent to end at 1,359.06.

“The expectations about the US economy are improving,” said Kim Hak-kyun, an analyst at Korea Investment and Securities.

“We’ve also seen oil prices come sharply down from recent highs, and that’s adding to the gains,” he added. “It may be appropriate to maintain a bullish view on the market.”

Oil prices were steady with trade muted by Monday’s US Labor Day holiday and dealers braced for several weeks of inaction on Iran’s nuclear issue after the European Union gave Tehran up to two weeks to clarify its stance.

The dollar eased against the euro as the jobs report did little to alter expectations that the dollar’s yield advantage could wane in the coming months.

Exporters jump

The Nikkei added 223.82 points to 16,358.07, its highest close since May 15. Shares of copier and camera maker Canon, which makes some 77 percent of its sales outside Japan, rose 2.4 percent, while precision equipment maker Nikon Corp. jumped 2.31 percent.

Those of Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s second-biggest auto maker, were up 0.79 percent.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. jumped 2.4 percent after business daily Nihon Keizai reported on Saturday that the company would likely exceed its first-half operating profit forecast by 150 percent due to high nickel and copper prices.

In Seoul, exporters also led the gainers, with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of memory chips, up 0.46 percent.

Hyundai Motor Co. rose 0.97 percent. South Korean auto makers reported on Friday a combined 4.7 percent increase in August sales, lifted by higher exports.

The benchmark indexes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia were also up by more than 0.5 percent. The main Taiwan index was up about 1.5 percent at its highest since early June.

While the dollar rose initially on Friday in the wake of the jobs report, there was little change to market expectations that the Federal Reserve would hold interest rates steady at 5.25 percent at its policy meeting this month, traders said.

At 0615 GMT, the dollar stood at 116.46 yen down slightly from around 117.10 yen in late Friday US trade.

The euro stood at $1.2852 up slightly from $1.2835 in late US trading on Friday.

Oil prices held steady early on Monday after falling below $70 a barrel on Friday on expectations of a long delay before the United Nations decides on sanctions against Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter.

US crude futures edged higher and was trading at $69.28 in Asia at 0615 GMT.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year JGB rose 4 basis points to 1.680 percent. The yield fell as low as 1.6 percent on Friday, its lowest level since March.

Gold traded around $627.25/628.25 an ounce from $624.85/625.85 late in New York.

More news from