Asia markets rise as US jobs data beat expectations – CNBC

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Asian markets were mostly up Monday, following a higher finish in U.S. equities on Friday on the back of encouraging U.S. economic data.

Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.72 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.21 percent and the Kospi in South Korea was near flat.

On Friday, figures showed that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose 215,000 in March, beating expectations for 205,000 jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate was at 5.0 percent, the first month-over-month increase since May 2015.

Down Under, the benchmark index was boosted by the financials sub-index, up 0.97 percent, with the country’s so-called Big Four banks – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and NAB – adding between 0.85 and 1.64 percent.

In Japan, data from Bank of Japan (BOJ) showed that its decision to adopt negative interest rates in late January has not convinced Japanese companies that inflation in the country will take off.

Additional data released Monday on BOJ’s Tankan survey for March, originally released Friday, showed companies expect prices to increase on average 0.8 percent a year from now, lower than their previous expectations of a 1 percent increase earlier this year. In three years, firms expect prices to go up 1.1 percent, lower than their previous expectations of a 1.3 percent rise.

The Japanese yen, which has strengthened since the BOJ’s decision to introduce negative rates in January, was at the 111 handle against the dollar on Monday; as of 10:34 a.m. HK/SIN time, the dollar/yen pair traded at 111.43.

Major Japanese exporters were lower, with shares of Toyota down 2.62 percent, Nissan off 2.67 percent and Honda lower by 1.43 percent. A stronger yen is a negative for exporters as it affects their overseas profits when converted into local currency.

Asia markets rise as US jobs data beat expectations – CNBC}