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Asian shares rise after buying mood on Wall Street ends week

/ 11:52 AM December 09, 2019

TOKYO – Asian shares were mostly higher Monday cheered by a buying mood on Wall Street that came at the end of last week.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.3% in early trading to 23,414.51, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2% to 6,722.90. South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.3% to 2,088.76. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost earlier gains to inch down 0.2% to 26,451.16. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.2% to 2,906.42.

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“Markets were mostly higher on the solid U.S. jobs data print,” said Vishnu Varathan of the Asia & Oceania Treasury Department at Mizuho Bank in Singapore, adding that questions remained on whether would prove enough amid other global risks.

The surprisingly strong U.S. jobs report had put investors in a buying mood on Wall Street, extending the market’s winning streak to a third day.

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The rally pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by more than 300 points and erased the S&P 500’s losses from earlier in the week, nudging the benchmark index to a second consecutive weekly gain.

The Labor Department said employers added 266,000 positions, well above estimates of 184,000. The report also showed unemployment falling to a 50-year low. Separately, an index that measures how consumers feel about the economy showed an increase from last month.

The S&P 500 rose 28.48 points, or 0.9%, to 3,145.91. The index posted a 0.2% gain for the week, a solid pivot from losses of more than 1% as of late Thursday. It’s now within 0.3% of its all-time high set on Nov. 27 and up 25.5% so far this year.

The latest gains also helped stem some of the losses for the Dow and Nasdaq.

The Dow climbed 337.27 points, or 1.2%, to 28,015.06. The Nasdaq gained 85.83 points, or 1%, to 8,656.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 19 points, or 1.2%, to 1,633.84.

Friday’s batch of encouraging economic data capped what started as a rough week for the market.

Increased trade tensions and disappointing economic reports — including data showing manufacturing continues to shrink, and growth in the service sector is slowing — dragged the market to steep losses on Monday and Tuesday.

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The latest employment report and consumer sentiment data are a welcome development as steady job growth has been one of the bright spots in the economy, along with solid consumer spending.

Investors also got some encouraging news on the U.S.-China trade front, with Beijing saying Friday that it is waiving punitive tariffs on U.S. soybeans and pork as negotiations for a trade deal continue.

ENERGY:

Benchmark crude oil

It rose 77 cents to $59.20 a barrel on Friday.

Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained $1 to close at $64.39 a barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar fell to 108.59 Japanese yen from 108.69 yen on Friday. The euro weakened to $1.1055 from $1.1107.

GSG

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