Asia-Pacific markets traded higher after U.S. jobs report fall short of expectations

Asia-Pacific markets traded higher after U.S. jobs report fall short of expectations

Stock markets in Asia-Pacific were broadly higher on Monday following “a big miss” in the U.S. jobs report released Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed around 0.85%, while the Topix was up 0.89%. 

In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.51% while Australia’s ASX 200 edged up 0.67% in early trade.

U.S. April’s weaker-than-expected jobs report showed U.S. employers added 266,000 net payrolls last month and the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%.

But the stock market had only a mild reaction to the bad news. Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 2.7% last week, while the S&P 500 gained 1.2%. Despite a 0.9% rally in the week’s final session, the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.5% over the same period.

“A big miss for non-farm payrolls was another case of ‘bad news is good news’ for US equities on Friday. The 266k addition would in normal times be extremely impressive but it shocked the market that was expecting nearly four times that number,” analysts from Australian bank ANZ wrote in a morning note.

All will be closely watched for a number of data releases from Australia on Monday, including retail sales for March and the first quarter, as well as the NAB business confidence survey.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar slipped 0.07% to 90.174 against a basket of currencies in early Monday.

Across the region, the Japanese yen changed hands at 108.69 per dollar, while the Australian dollar strengthened 0.22% against the U.S. dollar to $0.7859.

In oil markets, U.S. crude futures advanced 1.12%% to $65.63 per barrel as much of Top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline shut down its operations after learning of a cyberattack on Friday using ransomware. Global benchmark Brent was up 1.16% to $69.07 per barrel. 

Damon Harrison
Market Analyst, IPG Group