Asian markets bounce on US jobs figures

Asian markets rebounded strongly on Monday on better-than-expected US jobs data while traders took a more positive view of the European Central Bank's position on the eurozone debt crisis.

The single currency hit its highest level against the dollar in a month as concerns over the eurozone and the US eased, while hopes grew that Greece will meet its obligations to qualify for another tranche of rescue cash.

Tokyo rose 2.0 percent, or 171.18 points, to 8,726.29, Seoul climbed 2.01 percent, or 37.20 points, to 1,885.88 and Sydney closed 1.21 percent, or 51.1 points, higher at 4,272.6.

Hong Kong jumped 1.69 percent, or 332.54 points, to 19,998.72 while Shanghai added 1.04 percent, or 22.12 points, to close at 2,154.92.

In the United States the Labor Department said on Friday that the economy added 163,000 jobs in July -- the strongest gain since February and beating forecasts for a gain of 100,000.

Despite a 0.1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent the figures were welcomed by investors who took the report as a sign of resilience in the world's number one economy.

The result sent Wall Street surging. The Dow jumped 1.69 percent, the Nasdaq climbed 2.00 percent and the S&P 500 rose 1.90 percent.

The figures were welcome news for the markets, which had been sent tumbling on Thursday after the ECB failed to announce any concrete plans to support the euro, despite comment from its head Mario Draghi that it would do whatever was needed.

However, the initial disappointment was reversed in Europe and on Wall Street after bank officials said Friday it could intervene and buy the bonds of struggling eurozone countries without unanimous approval.

Those comments raised hopes that a bond buying programme to help struggling countries such as Spain and Italy is still possible.

The ECB "seems to be cooking up something internally", Jung Seung-jae, analyst at Mirae Asset Securities in South Korea, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Action may come earlier than expected."

On currency markets the euro surged in early trade to a one-month high of $1.2442 as traders became more confident in higher-risk, higher-yielding assets.

The currency later eased back to $1.2360 in the afternoon, compared with $1.2381 in late trade in New York Friday.

The euro bought 96.89 yen compared with 97.30 yen in New York, although well up from the 95.18 yen in Tokyo on Friday.

The dollar bought 78.35 yen, from 78.59 yen.

Also providing some support to markets were comments from Greece's international creditors Sunday that the country was committed to hammering out further spending cuts to secure a new batch of aid.

The so-called troika of creditors -- the EU, IMF and ECB -- met about the reforms Greece needs to implement to secure 31.5 billion euros in aid and stay afloat.

"We made good progress," IMF official Poul Thomsen told reporters after the meeting.

That eased concerns that Athens was not doing enough to satisfy its creditors and could be refused the cash, which would in turn be likely to lead to a default.

Oil prices eased after posting impressive gains in Friday trade in the United States.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in September, fell 49 cents to $90.91 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery shed 26 cents to $108.68.

Gold was at $1,604.60 at 0805 GMT, from $1,595.50 on Friday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei rose 0.95 percent, or 68.82 points, to 7,286.33.

Hon Hai Precision was up by its 7.0 percent daily limit at Tw$87.3 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 1.38 percent higher at Tw$80.9.

-- Manila ended flat, dipping 0.03 percent, or 1.75 points, to 5,284.16.

-- Wellington closed 0.43 percent higher, adding 15.21 points to 3,563.20.

Telecom Corp was up 1.12 percent to NZ$2.71, while Fletcher Building gained 1.62 percent to NZ$6.27.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. Santiago also cited the older case of Pascual vs. Hon. “By merely asserting the doctrine of …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options