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Asia stocks rise as investors cheer US jobs data
Monday - 5/6/2013, 5:16am EDT
AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stock markets rose Monday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report pushed Wall Street to new highs. Malaysian shares jumped after the country's ruling political alliance won national elections.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both rose to record highs Friday after the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 165,000 workers last month and many more in February and March than previously estimated. The unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, which was the lowest level in four years.
The report counterbalanced weeks of mixed signals about manufacturing and corporate earnings and renewed hopes of a recovery in the world's largest economy.
"Markets just came back to life, helped by that strong reading from U.S. nonfarm payrolls. That number completely obliterated expectations," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne.
Malaysia's KLSE Composite surged 3.1 percent to 1,747.85 after the country's governing coalition won national elections, albeit with a weakened majority, to extend its unbroken, 56-year rule.
"We will likely see the (government) pay greater attention to fiscal consolidation after the string of populist handouts in the run-up to elections," analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a commentary.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1 percent to 22,909.32. Australia's S&P/ASX advanced 0.6 percent to 5,161.40. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines also rose. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.1 percent to 1,963.40. Japan's stock market was closed for a public holiday.
Surging copper prices helped companies involved in producing the widely used industrial metal. Australia's OZ Minerals surged 9.4 percent. Hong Kong-listed Jiangxi Copper rose 5.4 percent. Australia's BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, rose 2.8 percent.
On Friday, the Dow crossed 15,000 for the first time before closing 1 percent higher at 14,973.96. The S&P 500 index rose 1 percent to 1,614.42, closing above 1,600 for the first time. The Nasdaq composite index 1.1 percent to 3,378.63.
Benchmark oil for June delivery was up 77 cents to $96.39 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.62 to close at $95.61 a barrel on the Nymex on Friday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3120 from $1.3110 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 99.09 yen from 99.04 yen.
Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pamelasampson
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