Asian stocks rose on Monday in morning trade in the wake of surprisingly weak US jobs numbers that eased concern the Federal Reserve will accelerate cuts to stimulus.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index gained 0.6% to 460 as of 9:41 a.m. in Hong Kong. Markets in Japan are closed for a holiday today.
South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.2% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.5%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and China’s Shanghai Composite Index both advanced 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.1% and Taiwan’s Taiex index increased 0.8%.
US employers added 74,000 workers in December, the weakest growth since January 2011, signalling a pause in the recent strength of the labour market that may partly reflect the effects of bad weather.
The US jobless rate unexpectedly declined last month, dropping to 6.7% from 7%, the 10 January payrolls report showed.
In corporate news, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM), an Australia gold producer, advanced 6.2% in Sydney as the precious metal climbed after the American jobs data.
Dongbu Steel Co. jumped 6.4%, heading for the highest closing level in two months, after reports companies are interested in buying one of its factories and a stake in Dongbu Metal Co.Hyundai Motor Co. surged 3.9% in Seoul as consumer discretionary firms posted the largest gains among the 10 industry groups on the regional benchmark index.