By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) — Stocks in Asia were mostly higher on Monday as gains carried over from a strong close last week on Wall Street.
Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Shanghai was closed for a holiday. Oil prices rose and US futures were almost unchanged.
Analysts said a healthy report on the US labor market on Friday eased concerns about recovery from the pandemic, though it also reinforced the likelihood of more interest rate hikes.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies rose after a report that regulators in Beijing agreed to allow US regulators full access to their audit of those holding shares listed in New York.
Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported that China has proposed revising rules restricting the sharing of financial data of foreign-listed companies in a step toward resolving a long-running dispute that could see more than 200 Chinese stocks be removed from US bags. It would remove the requirement that on-site inspections of overseas-listed Chinese companies be carried out primarily by Chinese regulators, Caixin said.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.2% to 22,313.83 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% to 27,713.47. Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.3% to 2,748.83. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5% to 7,527.20, while India’s Sensex jumped 2% to 60,455.88.
On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 4,545.86. The benchmark index made a slight gain for the week, its third straight advance amid lingering concerns about high inflation, higher Federal Reserve interest rates and the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 to 34,818.27, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3% to 14,261.50. The Russell 2000 gained 1% to 2,091.11.
The government report showing employers added 431,000 jobs last month was slightly below economists’ expectations of 477,500 jobs, but included a revision of previous months’ data to reflect greater strength. It showed that increases for workers accelerated last month, but at a slower pace than headline inflation, while the jobless rate improved from 3.7% to 3.6%.
A strong job market and economy give the Federal Reserve more room to raise interest rates considerably in order to reduce price increases hitting the country. The Fed has already raised its key overnight rate once, the first such increase since 2018. Following Friday’s jobs report, traders increased bets that the Fed will raise rates at its next meeting by twice as much. the usual
In the bond market, the two-year Treasury yield neared its highest level in more than three years, jumping to 2.45% from 2.28% on Thursday night.
The two-year yield again outperformed the 10-year yield, which was also rising, but not as fast. As of early Monday, the 10-year yield was at 2.41%, down from 2.38% on Friday.
The two-year yield outperformed the 10-year yield for the first time since 2019 last week. That’s seen as a potentially ominous sign that a recession is looming.
But it is not a perfect predictor and some economists say markets may be distorted by extraordinary measures taken by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to keep interest rates low.
Oil and gas prices have been rising as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a major oil and gas producer, has raised the risk that sanctions and export restrictions could reduce supplies.
A barrel of US crude gained 2 cents to $99.29 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday morning. It was down 1% on Friday at $99.27. Early last month, when crude supply disruptions were at their height, it briefly hit $130.
Brent crude, the international standard for pricing, rose 13 cents to $104.52 a barrel.
In currency trading, the dollar bought 122.62 Japanese yen, almost unchanged from 122.61 on Friday. The euro rose to $1.1047 from $1.1042.
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