Asian Shares Advance After U.S. Jobs Data

Asian stocks rose on Monday as strong U.S. jobs data helped investors shrug off renewed concerns over an escalating U.S.-China trade dispute.

U.S. jobs increased more than expected in June but slowing wage growth helped reduce the probability of another Fed rate hike for September.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index spiked 68.28 points or 2.5 percent to 2,815.51 after the U.S. punitive tariffs on Chinese goods kicked in and Beijing retaliated with equivalent measures.

The yuan also rebounded ahead of trade data due later this week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rallied 372.88 points or 1.3 percent to 28,688.50.

Japanese shares hit a one-week high as the yen turned broadly lower in reaction to the strong U.S. jobs data released on Friday. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 264.04 points or 1.2 percent to 22,052.18, the highest level since June 29th. The broader Topix Index finished up 1.2 percent at 1,711.79.

Eisai soared 16.3 percent to extend Friday’s gains after reporting positive results for its trial of Alzheimer’s candidate BAN2401.

Meanwhile, Nissan Motor slumped 4.6 percent ahead of a press conference regarding procedures to measure vehicle exhaust gas at its domestic plants.

In economic news, Japan had a current account surplus of 1,938.3 billion yen in May, the Ministry of Finance said. That topped expectations for a surplus of 1,266.0 billion yen and was up from 1,845.1 billion yen in April.

The trade balance reflected a deficit of 303.9 billion yen, exceeding forecasts for a shortfall of 483.1 billion yen following the 573.8 billion yen surplus in the previous month.

Australian shares hit a 10-1/2 year high as higher copper prices helped lift mining stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 13.70 points or 0.2 percent to 6,286, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 10.70 points or 0.2 percent at 6,366.40.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rallied 2.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. The big four banks rose between 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent.

Seoul stocks closed higher on institutional buying after the release of strong U.S. jobs data. The benchmark Kospi ended up 12.93 points or 0.6 percent at 2,285.80, with financials and technology companies pacing the gainers. KB Financial Group, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix climbed 2-3 percent.

Steelmaker Posco dropped 2.4 percent and rival Hyundai Steel fell as much as 4.6 percent after EU states moved to limit steel imports following the U.S. decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum.

New Zealand shares edged lower despite firm leads from offshore markets. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 22.39 points or 0.3 percent to 9,061.65, dragged down by healthcare stocks.

Benchmark indexes in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were up between 0.6 percent and 1.6 percent.

U.S. stocks closed higher in light trading on Friday as Biogen announced positive results from a study of its Alzheimer’s treatment and traders assessed the latest monthly jobs report showing strong hiring and slowing wage increases.

The Dow rose 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.3 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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