Asian Shares Mostly Up after US Jobs Report, China Rate Cut

Manila Bulletin, May 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

Asian Shares Mostly Up after US Jobs Report, China Rate Cut


Hong Kong, China -- Asian markets mostly rose Monday following a healthy US jobs report last week, while investor sentiment was also boosted by China's decision to cut interest rates for the third time in six months.

The euro retreated against the dollar and yen before a crucial eurozone meeting later in the day which Greece hopes will pave the way for a loan deal.

Shanghai jumped 3.04 percent, or 127.66 points, to 4,333.58 and Hong Kong added 0.51 percent, or 140.86 points, to close at 27,718.20.

Tokyo rallied despite heavy losses in Sharp and Toshiba owing to fears about their balance sheets. The Nikkei added 1.25 percent, or 241.72 points, to close at 19,620.91.

Seoul ended 0.57 percent higher, adding 11.86 points to 2,097.38 but Sydney finished 0.17 percent, or 9.4 points, lower at 5,625.2.

China's central bank on Sunday cut rates by 25 basis points -- after two similar moves since November -- as it tries to support the world's number two economy, which grew last year at its slowest pace since 1990.

The move is the latest stimulus by the People's Bank of China, which has also twice this year reduced the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve.

It followed another disappointing set of economic indicators, with inflation coming in below forecasts for April and exports unexpectedly falling.

"The consensus was that there'll be at least one or two more stages of monetary easing in China, so there's no big surprise," Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

Dealers were already upbeat after a US Labor Department report Friday showed the economy added 223,000 jobs in April and unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent.

While the growth was not as much as expected, analysts say it was strong enough to suggest the economy was picking up -- but not enough that the Federal Reserve would feel comfortable raising interest rates soon.

- Greece in focus -

On Wall Street Friday the Dow rose 1.49 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 1.35 percent and the Nasdaq was up 1.17 percent.

In Tokyo Monday the dollar edged up to 119.97 yen from 119.77 yen in New York.

The euro fetched $1.1164 and 133.92 yen in Tokyo against $1.1208 and 134.25 yen.

The single currency was under pressure as investors await the meeting in Brussels, with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying he was hoping for a positive statement on the country's progress in negotiating a debt reform deal. …

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