Most Asian share markets took cues from a global surge in equities and rose on Thursday, while weak U.S. economic data sent the dollar lower. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 1 percent. South Korean, Australian, Chinese and Malaysian stocks gained, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 0.5 percent on a stronger yen.
Wall Street shares posted sizable gains overnight on several strong corporate earnings results and the pan-European Eurofirst 300 index of leading shares .FTEU3 climbed to a 14-year high after the European Central Bank affirmed its loose policy stance. In currencies, the region’s big mover was the Aussie, lifted to a three-week high by stronger-than-expected Australian employment numbers.
The Australian dollar was up 1.2 percent at $0.7777 AUD=D4 after a potential sign the labor market was not as weak as many had assumed. “There’s less probability of the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting in May, but we’re sticking with our call that the RBA needs to cut the cash rate because there are still a lot of other moving parts out there that aren’t good,” said Stephen Walters, chief economist at JPMorgan in Sydney.