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Asian shares advance on upbeat US data

Asian shares advance on upbeat US data

Asian stocks gained on Monday in morning trade, led by mining companies, after an upbeat US labour force report bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy, while the dollar held its ground against the yen.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index gained 0.9% to 486 as of 9:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.2% and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.5%.

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 1.3%, heading for the highest close since June 2008. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.7%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index and Taiwan’s Taiex Index rose 0.5%.

Markets in Japan, Thailand and the U.K. are closed for a holiday.

US payrolls increased by 165,000 last month and revisions to the prior two months added a total of 114,000 jobs, a government report showed on Friday. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for an increase of 140,000 positions.

Commodities also contributed to gains, with US crude rising more than 1% towards $97.00 a barrel, reaching fresh one-month highs.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, advanced 2.7% in Sydney.

Public Bank Bhd., the company with the largest weighting on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index, advanced to a record high after Prime Minister Najib Razak won a clear majority in a general election, giving him a mandate to continue his economic reforms.

Boral Ltd. (BLD) sank 4.3%, heading for the lowest close in almost four months, after an earnings forecast at the Australian building-materials manufacturer missed analyst estimates.

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