Asia markets mostly up, Shanghai adds 0.7% – CNBC

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Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG, said in his morning note that the revised GDP target for 2016 is “almost a ‘whatever it takes’ comment, and shows China will not take its foot off the growth accelerator.”

In currency trade, the Australian dollar slipped against the U.S. dollar after touching $0.7443 Friday, its highest highest level for 2016. The pair was trading down 0.4 percent at 0.7411 as of 9:51 a.m. HK/SIN time.

Down Under, miners gained broadly, with Rio Tinto up 3.32 percent, BHP Billiton up 5.26 percent and Fortescue adding 11.45 percent, following gains in base metal prices. Iron ore was up 0.7 percent at $52.40 a tonne, its highest since October. In his note, Lucas noted that Fortescue, which is up around 73 percent over the past 29 trading days, is the lowest cost iron-ore producer.

Chinese metal players were also higher, with Baoshan Steel adding 4.45 percent, Yunnan Copper up by 6.81 percent and Baotou Steel higher by 2 percent.

But Lucas warned that if China decides to clean up its spare capacity in coal and steel, it might “cap iron ore’s current rise now and into the medium term future.”

The Japanese yen also maintained its strength against the dollar, staying at the 113 handle. The pair traded at 113.72 as of 10:00 a.m. local time. Japanese exporters traded mixed, with Toyota down 2.26 percent and Nissan adding 0.82 percent. A stronger yen is usually a negative for exporters as it reduces their overseas profit when converted into local currency.

In China, before market open, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) fixed the yuan mid-point rate at 6.5113, compared with Friday’s fix of 6.5284. The dollar/yuan pair traded nearly flat at 6.5125 as of 9:54 a.m. HK/SIN time.

In the energy market, U.S. crude futures were up 1.7 percent at $36.53 a barrel as of 10:07 a.m. HK/SIN time, after gaining 9.5 percent last week. Globally traded Brent futures were up 1.65 percent at $39.35 a barrel, after gaining 10.31 percent the previous week.

Energy plays across the region were mixed, with Santos adding 1.03 percent and Woodside Petroleum up 2.78 percent. Japanese oil plays Japan Petroleum, Inpex and Fuji Oil were down between 0.65 and 1.98 percent. Chinese mainland energy plays were mostly up, with Sinopec adding 3 percent and China Petroleum up 0.64 percent.

The U.S. non-farm payroll number released Friday showed the U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 242,000 jobs in February, mitigating some concerns that the economy was joining a global economic slowdown. Economists had expected 190,000 new positions.

On Friday, major U.S. indexes closed up, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.37 percent, the S&P 500 adding 0.33 percent and the Nasdaq composite gaining 0.2 percent.

Asia markets mostly up, Shanghai adds 0.7% – CNBC}