Asian stocks were mostly up on Monday after the U.S. delivered an upbeat July jobs data last week which sent most U.S. stocks also higher. The U.S. dollar was mostly positive after the jobs data report revealed that US non farm payrolls have risen by 209,000 last month. The greenback also rose on National Economic Council director Gary Cohn’s comments that the administration is currently working on a corporate tax plan which would help businesses inside the United States
This gave the markets an upbeat outlook that will translate into the economy’s gradual recovery that might trigger another interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve as some currently believes that the inflation rate will meet the central bank’s target rate of 2%. This will also help them with their plan to start cutting down its massive bond portfolio before the end of the year.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rallied by 0.4% while the Topix index in Japan jumped by 0.5% with Toyota being one of the top performers in the index. The Japanese automaker gained 2% following a positive first quarter earnings report that beat most analyst estimates along with an upgrade in its full-year forecast last week. The Nikkei in Japan was also up by almost 0.6% during the trading session.
The Kospi index in South Korea also logged a 0.1% gain along with Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 Index who also gained 0.1%. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index rallied by 0.5% which is its highest since the end of 2007.
Asian currencies such as the Australian dollar was also up by 0.1% against the US Dollar to US$0.794 while the Korean won lost around 0.2% against the greenback after the concerns surrounding the ongoing geopolitical issues between South Korea and North Korea. According to North Korea’s foreign minister, South Korea did not show enough sincerity in its proposals to improve ties with the other country. The UN Security Council then imposed sanctions on North Korea in their efforts to convince them to stop its nuclear program.
Oil prices mostly held their gains from Friday despite the U.S crude losing around 0.3% to $49.43 per barrel following gaining around 1.1% during Friday’s session. Gold prices were also mostly steady following the slight decline of the U.S. dollar and as it remained under pressure.
Stocks in Europe also gained on Monday following the release of the upbeat jobs data in the U.S. last week. The FTSE 100 index in the United Kingdom rallied by 0.3% which is the index’s highest in the past two months while the DAX index from Germany jumped by 0.2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased by 0.1%.