Asian Markets Mostly Higher


(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Monday amid improved risk appetite following the rally on Wall Street Friday after a U.S. Labor Department report showed an unexpected jump in non-farm payroll employment in the month of May. The data bolstered hopes of a quick economic recovery. The Australian market is closed for a holiday.

The Japanese market is advancing for a sixth straight day while the safe-haven yen weakened following the gains on Wall Street Friday. Meanwhile, investor shrugged off mixed local economic reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 245.04 points or 1.07 percent to 23,108.77, after touching a low of 23,163.46 in early trades. Japanese shares rose for a fifth straight day on Friday.

Market heavyweights SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing are higher by more than 1 percent each.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic and Canon are rising almost 2 percent each, while Sony is advancing more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda Motor is adding almost 2 percent and Toyota is up almost 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is gaining more than 4 percent and Japan Petroleum is adding more than 2 percent after crude oil prices jumped almost 6 percent on Friday.

Among the major gainers, Hino Motors is gaining 6 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings is rising almost 6 percent. IHI Corp. and JGC Holdings are higher by more than 5 percent each.

In economic news, the Cabinet Office said in Monday’s final reading that Japan’s gross domestic product was bumped down to 2.2 percent on year in the first quarter of 2020, placing the country firmly in recession. Analysts had expected the GDP to be revised up to -2.1 percent following last month’s preliminary reading that had suggested a yearly drop of 3.4 percent.

The Ministry of Finance said Japan had a current account surplus of 262.7 billion yen in April, down 84.2 percent on year. That missed expectations for a surplus of 480 billion yen following the 1,917.0 billion yen surplus in March.

Japan’s trade balance reflected a deficit of 966.5 billion yen following the 103.1 billion yen surplus in the previous month. Exports were down 23.0 percent on year at 4,909.0 trillion yen, while imports sank an annual 9.5 percent to 5,875.6 trillion yen.

The Bank of Japan said the value of overall bank lending in Japan was up 4.8 percent on year in May, coming in at 562.546 trillion yen. That far surpassed expectations for an increase of 3.2 percent following the downwardly revised 2.9 percent gain in April.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 109 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand and Indonesia are rising more than 2 percent each, while Singapore is advancing more than 1 percent. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also higher, while Malaysia is modestly lower and South Korea is little changed.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply higher on Friday after a report from the U.S. Labor Department showed non-farm payroll employment jumped by 2.51 million jobs in May after plummeting by a revised 20.69 million jobs in April. The record spike in employment came as a shock to economists, who had expected the loss of another 8.0 million jobs following the nosedive of 20.5 million jobs originally reported for the previous month. The unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent in May from 14.7 percent in April, while economists had expected the unemployment rate to surge up to 19.8 percent.

The Dow spiked 829.16 points or 3.2 percent to 27,110.98, the Nasdaq jumped 198.27 points or 2.1 percent to 9,814.08 and the S&P 500 surged up 81.58 points or 2.6 percent to 3,193.93.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to the upside on Friday. The French CAC 40 Index soared by 3.7 percent, the German DAX Index spiked by 3.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 2.3 percent.

Crude oil prices moved sharply higher on Friday amid optimism about increased energy demand after data from U.S. Labor Department showed unexpected job growth in the month of May. WTI crude for July delivery spiked $2.14 or about 5.7 percent to $39.55 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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