Stocks in Asia were higher on Monday after U.S. jobs data released Friday showed an unexpected jump, spurring hopes of an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 1.37% to close at 23,178.10 as shares of robot maker Fanuc gained 4.01%. The Topix index also rose 1.13% to end its trading day at 1,630.72.
Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.24% to around 2,937.77 while the Shenzhen component rose 0.314% to 11,215.76. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was fractionally higher, as of its final hour of trading.
Over in South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.11% higher at 2,184.29.
Meanwhile in New Zealand, shares of Air New Zealand skyrocketed 9.15% after the firm announced a target to return to “healthy profits” by late August 2022. Over in Singapore, shares of Singapore Airlines shed earlier gains to drop 1.62% in afternoon trade, with the moves coming after the company announced it had raised more than 10 billion Singapore dollars ($7.18 billion) in fresh liquidity.
Those moves followed a general rise in airline stocks regionally, with Japan Airlines’ stock in Japan gained about 3% while Korean Air Lines in South Korea rose 0.49%. Elsewhere, Hong Kong-listed shares of China Southern Airlines were up 3.66% in afternoon trade. Cathay Pacific, however, lagged as it fell 1.35%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose about 0.3%.
Markets in Australia were closed on Monday for a holiday.
The moves regionally came on the back of Friday’s U.S. jobs print, where the Labor Department said the economy stateside added 2.5 million jobs in May, a record. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast a drop of more than 8 million.
“The US employment report was another one for the history books, with the biggest miss ever relative to expectations,” Jason Wong, senior markets strategist at BNZ Markets, wrote in a note.
“The data are consistent with activity indicators that show a recovery in activity as US lockdowns eased, following the big hole in the economy in April, and give increased confidence that activity is on a clear path upward from here as restrictions have eased further,” Wong said.
“It’s no denying it’s positive to see that number moving in the opposite direction to what it was before,” Kingsley Jones, founder and chief investment officer at Jevons Global, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.
Jones, however, warned that “it’s probably a little bit early to tell how well these numbers will develop over the next month or so.” Pointing out that most of the new jobs were in lower paying roles, he said: “We still have to wait (and) see about how durable these employment gains are.”
Meanwhile, data released over the weekend showed China’s exports contracting in May as demand continued to be depressed by coronavirus lockdowns globally, according to Reuters. Still, the country posted a record trade surplus last month as imports dropped, Reuters reported.
The data came as markets in recent days have gotten a boost amid hopes of an economic recovery as lockdown measures to contain the…
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