Asian Pacific Stocks Rise, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Surges Nearly 2%

Asia-Pacific stocks rose on Monday, with shares in Japan and China seeing big gains.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was among the biggest gainers regionally, rising 1.83% to close at 29,659.89. That added to its surge of 2.05% on Friday after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he will not be running in the upcoming leadership election. The Topix advanced 1.24%.

Asian Markets
Nikkei 225 Performance Chart

Mainland Chinese stocks also saw robust gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite gaining 1.12% to 3,621.86 and the Shenzhen component jumped 2.586% to 14,546.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose about 0.9%, as of its final hour of trading.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi ended the trading day fractionally higher at 3,203.33. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed about 0.1% higher at 7,528.50. While MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.56%.

U.S. jobs data released Friday came in far short of expectations, with the economy adding just 235,000 positions in August. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 720,000 new hires.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined to 5.2% from 5.4%, in line with estimates.

“In our view, the setback in the recovery in the labour market and the jump in serious covid infections will encourage the FOMC to wait before it announces it will taper its monthly asset purchases. We now expect the FOMC to announce an $US10bn taper of its monthly asset purchases at its 3 November meeting,” analysts at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

U.S. markets are closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.23% to $71.72 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dipped 1.26% to $68.42 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.211 after a recent slide from above 92.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.88 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.1 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7436, having climbed from below $0.732 last week.

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