World Economy

Asian Shares Mixed, European Stocks Up

Asian Shares Mixed, European Stocks UpAsian Shares Mixed, European Stocks Up

Asian markets were mixed on Monday after a strong US jobs report showed unemployment at a six-year low, while the US dollar held on to most of the gains enjoyed at the end of last week.

Hong Kong shares tacked on a second straight day of gains as civil servants returned to work while pro-democracy protests that have shut down parts of the city thinned out.

Tokyo rallied 1.16 percent, or 182.30 points, to 15,890.95, while Hong Kong jumped 1.1 percent. However, Sydney lost 0.48 percent, or 25.3 points, to end at 5,292.9 while Seoul eased 0.39 percent, or 7.77 points, to 1,968.39. Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur were closed for public holidays.

 European Stocks

US stock index futures SPc1 NDc1 DJc1 pointed to further gains on Wall Street on Monday as investors grow more confident in the strength of the recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

The upbeat US data contrasts starkly with the outlook in Europe, where German industrial orders posted their biggest monthly drop since 2009 in August. That strengthened the view that the European Central Bank will eventually have to launch a Fed-style asset-buying scheme known as quantitative easing to support growth.

That added to the allure of European equities and euro zone bonds, which had stumbled last week after the ECB gave no fresh hints of imminent QE.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent, led by German equities as Frankfurt, closed for a public holiday on Friday, caught up with the rebound in the rest of Europe.

US stock index futures pointed to an extension of Friday’s rally when the S&P 500 index posted its best day since August. As of Friday, the S&P 500 was about 2.2 percent away from its record close.

Wall Street rallied, with the Dow climbing 1.24 percent, the S&P 500 jumping 1.12 percent and the Nasdaq up 1.03 percent.

 Currency Market

The greenback was at 109.62 yen in afternoon Asian trade against 109.75 yen in New York, but sharply up from 108.98 yen in Tokyo earlier Friday. The euro was sitting around two-year lows of US$1.2520 against US$1.2514 in US trade, while it bought 137.12 yen compared with 137.33 yen.

On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was down 18 cents at US$89.56. On Friday it closed below US$90 for the first time since April 2013. Brent North Sea crude eased 40 cents to US$91.91, around two-year lows. Gold was at US$1,193.67 an ounce against US$1,207.74 late Friday.