Asian markets follow Wall Street rise on US jobs data

1010 WINS Newsroom
November 03, 2019 - 10:52 pm

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Monday after unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs data helped to soothe worries American factory activity was weaker than forecast.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Hong Kong, South Korea and Southeast Asia advanced. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

The Labor Department said American employers added 128,000 jobs in October, better than the 89,000 forecast. That helped to dilute disappointment after a monthly index of manufacturing by the Institute for Supply Management, an industry group, fell for a third month and by a bigger margin than forecast.

The jobs numbers could help to reassure investors about American household spending, the main driver of the biggest global economy.

"Rolling on from the better than expected headline figure for the U.S. jobs report, Asian markets are likely to start in decent fashion this week," said ING in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6% to 2,976.46 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.3% to 27,470.10. Seoul's Kospi added 1.3% to 2,128.12.

Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3% to 6,691.10. Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also advanced.

On Wall Street, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1% to 3,066.91 on Friday, hitting an all-time high for the third time in a week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1% to 27,347.36. It is within 12 points of the record it set in July.

The Nasdaq composite gained 1.1% to 8,386.40.

Friday's employment numbers helped to shore up investor faith that has been shaken by U.S.-China trade tension and Brexit.

The world's largest economies have agreed to at least a temporary truce in what President Donald Trump dubbed "phase one" of a trade deal. Envoys are negotiating the details of that pact, but economists caution major issues have yet to be decided.

U.S. companies are reporting weaker profits compared with a year ago as global economic activity and consumer demand weaken.

Britain's departure from the European Union has been delayed until at least Jan. 31 after the other 27 member governments granted London's request for a three-month extension.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called an election after parliament blocked his plan to leave on Oct. 31 whether the two sides agreed in advanced on their future trade and other relations or not.

France's minister for European affairs, Amelie de Montchalin, said she is advising French companies to prepare for a scenario in which Britain leaves without a divorce deal. She told broadcaster Europe 1 radio the new date of Jan. 31 "is not negotiable."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 22 cents to $55.98 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $2.22 on Friday to close at $56.20. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 31 cents to $61.38 per barrel in London. It surged $2.07 the previous session to $61.69.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 108.21 from Friday's 108.18. The euro edged up to $1.1170 from $1.1168.

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