Asian shares rally on jobs data, despite trade talks impasse
SINGAPORE вЂ” Asian stock indexes rose Monday as investors rallied around a U.S. jobs report, despite fresh signs of a burgeoning trade war as weekend China-U.S. trade talks ended in an apparent impasse.
KEEPING SCORE: JapanвЂ™s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.4 per cent to 22,475.94 and South KoreaвЂ™s Kospi gained 0.3 per cent to 2,445.73. Hong KongвЂ™s Hang Seng rallied 1.5 per cent to 30,945.57 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.6 per cent to 3,092.97. AustraliaвЂ™s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent to 6,020.30. TaiwanвЂ™s benchmark rose and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly higher.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks finished higher on Friday. The S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent to 2,734.62, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.9 per cent to 24,635.21. The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.5 per cent to 7,554.33.
MORE U.S. JOBS: U.S. employers added a robust 233,000 jobs in May, up from 159,000 in April, helping to drive the nationвЂ™s unemployment rate to an 18-year low of 3.8 per cent. вЂњThe May jobs report revealed impressive strength and breadth in U.S. job creation that blew away most economistsвЂ™ expectations,вЂќ said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West.
CHINAвЂ™S WARNING: Raising the likelihood of a trade war, China said Sunday that it wonвЂ™t step up purchases of American products if President Donald Trump taxes billions of dollarsвЂ™ worth of Chinese imports. In May, China had promised to вЂњsignificantly increaseвЂќ its purchases of U.S. farm, energy and other products. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said then that the U.S. tariffs were suspended and the trade war вЂњon hold.вЂќ President Trump has since renewed his threat to impose 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese high-tech goods.
QUOTEWORTHY: вЂњThe weekend has produced no positive trade developments and a few more negative ones. The world stands on the brink of a trade war,вЂќ said Robert Carnell, chief economist and head of research, Asia-Pacific at ING Bank.
NORTH KOREAN SUMMIT BACK ON: After a week of hard-nosed negotiations, diplomatic gamesmanship and no shortage of theatrics, President Donald Trump announced Friday that the historic nuclear-weapons summit he had cancelled with North KoreaвЂ™s Kim Jong Un is back on. The June 12 meeting in Singapore, the first between heads of the technically still-warring nations, is meant to begin the process of ending North KoreaвЂ™s nuclear program.
ENERGY: Oil futures dipped on speculation that OPEC countries may decide to raise supply at a summit later this month. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 11 cents to $65.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.23 to settle at $65.81 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 35 cents to $76.44 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.68 yen from 109.52 yen in late trading Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1687 from $1.1662.
AP Business Writer Stan Choe contributed.