NEW YORK, NY – Asian shares were mostly higher Monday, cheered by a wave of buying late last week on Wall Street that was spurred by strong U.S. jobs numbers and optimism over China-U.S. trade.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.4% in early trading to 23,439.13, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,735.70. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.3% to 2,087.92. Hong Kong's Hang Seng picked up 0.1% to 26,511.78. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.1% to 2,910.31.
“Markets were mostly higher on the solid U.S. jobs data print," Vishnu Varathan of the Asia & Oceania Treasury Department at Mizuho Bank in Singapore said in a report, adding that questions remained on whether would prove enough amid other global risks.
The Japanese Cabinet Office reported Monday that the economy expanded at a 1.8% annual pace in July-September, spurred by strong consumer purchases ahead of an Oct. 1 sales tax hike. That was much stronger than the 0.2% growth earlier reported and marked a fourth straight quarter of expansion for the world's No. 3 economy.
The surprisingly strong U.S. jobs report had put investors in a buying mood on Wall Street, extending the market’s winning streak to a third day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 300 points, while the S&P 500 erased losses from earlier in the week, nudging the benchmark index to a second consecutive weekly gain.
The Labor Department said employers added 266,000 positions, well above estimates of 184,000. The report also showed unemployment falling to a 50-year low. Separately, an index that measures how consumers feel about the economy showed an increase from last month.
The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to 3,145.91. The index posted a 0.2% gain for the week, a solid pivot from losses of more than 1% as of late Thursday. It’s now within 0.3% of its all-time high set on Nov. 27 and up 25.5% so far this year.
The latest gains also helped stem some of the losses for the Dow and Nasdaq.
The Dow climbed 337.27 points, or 1.2%, to 28,015.06. The Nasdaq gained 85.83 points, or 1%, to 8,656.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 19 points, or 1.2%, to 1,633.84.
Friday’s batch of encouraging economic data capped what started as a rough week for the market.
Increased trade tensions and disappointing economic reports -- including data showing manufacturing continues to shrink and growth in the service sector is slowing -- dragged the market to steep losses on Monday and Tuesday.
The latest employment report and consumer sentiment data are a welcome development as steady job growth has been one of the bright spots in the economy, along with solid consumer spending.
Investors also got some encouraging news on the U.S.-China trade front, with Beijing saying Friday that it is waiving punitive tariffs on U.S. soybeans and pork as negotiations for a trade deal continue.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil lost 29 cents to $58.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It advanced 77 cents to $59.20 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude oil, the international standard for pricing, shed 20 cents to $64.19. It gained $1 to close at $64.39 a barrel.
The dollar fell to 108.57 Japanese yen from 108.59 yen on Friday. The euro weakened to $1.1058 from $1.1062.
AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise contributed.