Asian shares poised for positive start after strong gains on Wall Street


Asian markets were poised for a positive start to the first trading day of the week, following gains seen stateside as investors focused on jobs numbers and trade talks.

U.S. stocks gained on Friday despite a mixed jobs report, with Apple getting a boost following news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway had bought 75 million shares in the tech company in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.39 percent, or 332.36 points, to close at 24,262.51, the S&P 500 added 1.28 percent to end at 2,663.42 and the Nasdaq composite advanced 1.71 percent to 7,209.62.

Investors also digested the release of April nonfarm payrolls, which rose by 164,000. That was below the 192,000 figure forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. Average hourly earnings growth was 0.1 percent, missing expectations, but U.S. unemployment dropped to an 18-year low of 3.9 percent.

In Asia, Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were little changed, but still pointing slightly higher by 0.05 percent compared to the benchmark’s last close. Australian SPI futures were last higher by 0.63 percent on Friday.

Markets in South Korea will be closed on Monday for a holiday.

Markets in the region had closed in negative territory in the last session amid concerns over U.S.-China trade talks, which the two countries agreed to continue after the end of a two-day meeting last week.

On the corporate front, Singapore’s second-largest bank by total assets, OCBC, is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings later in the day. Interim results from Australia’s Westpac are also expected on Monday.

The dollar finished the week broadly higher, with the dollar index last standing at 92.583. Against the yen, the dollar fetched 109.07 at 6:46 a.m. HK/SIN, below last week’s highs above the 109.8 handle.

On the commodities front, oil prices climbed about 2 percent in the last session, with markets focused on the possibility of the U.S. re-imposing sanctions against Iran.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on $1.29 to settle at $69.72 per barrel after rising as high as $69.97 for the first time since end-2014, Reuters said. Brent crude futures, meanwhile, added $1.25 to settle at $74.87.

Here’s the economic calendar for Monday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 7:50 a.m.: Bank of Japan policy meeting minutes
  • 9:30 a.m.: Australia NAB business confidence survey
  • 11:00 a.m.: China foreign exchange reserves


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