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Asia stocks narrowly mixed following upbeat Wall Street

Asia stocks narrowly mixed following upbeat Wall Street

Asia stocks were trading narrowly mixed in early Monday session, following an upbeat Wall Street last Friday after the release of a stronger-than-expected jobs report.

Japan's Nikkei 225 edged higher by 0.06% as most trading houses, automakers and banks climbed. Tech shares, however, were a mixed picture, with Sony declining 1.09% and SoftBank Group higher by 0.47% in early trade.

Shares of construction company Obayashi Corporation were down 5.44%. The move followed a report that prosecutors suspected the company was involved in bid-rigging.

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi shed 0.1% as automakers, brokerages and blue-chip tech stocks declined. Samsung Electronics was off 0.69% and SK Hynix edged down 0.51%.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was little changed, trading just 0.02% below the flat line.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index was little changed. China’s exports and imports accelerated last month after slowing in October in an encouraging sign for the world’s second-biggest economy.

In the US, jobs data showed on Friday hiring increased by more than forecast in November and the unemployment rate held at a 17-year low, paving the way for another interest-rate increase this week.

Markets are looking to policy decisions from central banks in the US, UK and European Union later this week, watching for potential policy road maps for 2018.

In the currency market, the dollar held firm after rising against a basket of rivals from levels below 93.300 in the previous week to 93.892 on Monday morning.

Among other major currencies, the Japanese yen was steady, trading at 113.51 to the dollar. The Australian dollar traded at USD 0.7504 and the euro last traded at USD 1.1770.

Futures in bitcoin, which has taken global financial markets by storm, swung above their launch price, while the dollar kept gains in Monday’s Asian session on expectations the Federal Reserve will stick to its tightening path. Bitcoin prices were up 5.1% at $15,473 on the Bitstamp exchange, having jumped more than 30% last week.

 

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