Asian shares gained on Monday in late morning trade as the yen weakened and jobs data spurred the biggest two-day rally for US equities since October.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4% to 134 at 11:19 a.m. in Tokyo, rising a fourth day. The Topix index rose 0.7% as the yen weakened.
Japan’s current-account deficit widened to a record in December, while China’s central bank signalled volatility in money-market interest rates will persist and borrowing costs will rise. Japan’s ¥638.6 billion ($6.2 billion) shortfall surpassed November’s gap of ¥592.8 billion, the finance ministry said in Tokyo today. The currency fell as much as 0.3% against the greenback.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi index and Singapore’s Straits Times Index both added 0.2%. Taiwan’s Taiex index increased 0.6%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.2%.
The US added 113,000 jobs in January, a 7 February report showed, trailing the median estimate of 180,000 in a Bloomberg survey. The jobless rate dropped to 6.6%.
In corporate news, Nissan Motor Co. surged 1%, pacing gains among Japanese exporters.
Rio Tinto Group (RIO), the world’s second-largest mining company, added 1.2% in Sydney after copper futures rose a third day.
Landing International Development Ltd. surged 13% in Hong Kong after the Chinese property developer and partner Genting Singapore Plc announced plans to build a $2.2 billion casino resort in South Korea’s Jeju island.