Asia markets rally after US jobs report

GMT 07:47 2015 Monday ,07 December

Arab Today, arab today Asia markets rally after US jobs report

211,000 jobs were created in the US in November 2015
Hong Kong - AFP

Asian stock markets climbed  Monday after another strong US jobs reading provided fresh evidence the economy is recovering and reinforced expectations of a December interest rate rise.

Dealers tracked a surge on Wall Street to return to buying, following Friday's sharp sell-off in Asia that was fuelled by disappointment with the European Central Bank's (ECB) revised stimulus programme.

The US Labor Department said Friday that 211,000 jobs were created in November and the unemployment rate held at five percent.

Wall Street's three main indexes jumped more than two percent Friday on the report.

"The post-payrolls rally in US equities was notable," Kymberly Martin, a markets strategist in Wellington at Bank of New Zealand, said in an e-mail to clients.
"The market appears to have read the data as reason for confidence in the economic outlook, rather than taking flight at the prospect of imminent reduction in US Fed stimulus."

While a lift in US borrowing costs would usually be expected to cause selling, analysts said dealers have been soothed by indications from the Fed that any increases would be small and gradual.

Among Asian stock markets Tokyo gained one percent, with exporters boosted by a weaker yen. Hong Kong had put on 0.2 percent in late trade, Shanghai advanced 0.3 percent and Sydney ended up 0.1 percent.

With a US rate increase almost certain, the dollar pushed higher against the yen and euro. The single currency was also weighed down by comments from ECB chief Mario Draghi that he could strengthen its stimulus.

- Oil extends losses -

Speaking Friday after European markets closed, Draghi insisted the bank's efforts were working, adding: "There is no particular limit to how we can deploy any of our tools.
"There cannot be any limit to how far we are willing to deploy our instruments, within our mandate, and to achieve our mandate."

The euro surged more than three percent against the greenback after the ECB unveiled fresh stimulus measures that fell well short of expectations. The bank has, since earlier this year, embarked on a bond-buying scheme that in essence pumps more cash into financial markets, denting demand for the euro.

Crude prices extended Friday's hefty losses that came after a meeting of the OPEC oil exporters' group ended without any decision to cut output, despite a supply glut and weak global demand.

At the end of its six-monthly gathering, the 12-member group dropped all talk of targets and said it would gauge the market between now and its next meeting, when Iran is due to restart exports as economic sanctions are lifted as a part of its nuclear deal.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude sank 1.0 percent and Brent was 0.6 percent lower.

On Friday WTI tumbled 2.7 percent and Brent lost 1.9.

In Singapore, trading in the container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) was suspended ahead of the announcement that French transportation firm CMA CGM SA had offered to buy it.

The deal, announced in a filing with the Singapore Exchange where NOL is listed, values the Singapore company at around Sg$3.4 billion ($2.4 billion), according to the total number of company shares.

"We are supportive of this transaction as it presents NOL with an opportunity to join a leading player with an extensive global presence and solid operational record," said Tan Chong Lee, head of portfolio management at state-linked investment firm Temasek Holdings, which owns 67 percent of NOL.

- Key figures around 0710 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 19,698.15 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 22,288.74

Shanghai - composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,536.93 (close)

Sydney - S&P/ASX 200: UP 0.1 percent at 5,155.70 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN to $1.0868 from $1.0875 late Friday

Dollar/yen: UP to 123.28 yen from 123.11 yen

New York - Dow: UP 2.1 percent at 17,847.63 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 6,238.29 (close)


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