Asian stocks rose to a 10-week high and oil jumped for a third day after faster-than-forecast U.S. employment growth bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy. Shares in Malaysia climbed the most in four years and the currency gained after the ruling coalition won elections.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index added 1 percent at 10:48 a.m. in Hong Kong. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) advanced 1 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed. Crude increased 0.6 percent in New York. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index jumped 3 percent, heading for the biggest gain since November 2008, after rallying as much as 7.8 percent. The ringgit rose 2 percent against the dollar.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak’s coalition extended its 55-year rule, retaining a majority in election results disputed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. U.S. payrolls expanded by 165,000 last month and revisions to the prior two months added a total of 114,000 jobs, a government report showed May 3. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici declared the era of austerity over after his German counterpart offered flexibility on deficit cutting.
“Resilient U.S. private demand, bolstered by stronger- than-expected jobs data last Friday, should help risk appetite,” said Michael Kurtz, the Hong-Kong based head of global equity strategy at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage. “We remain positive on regional equities.”
Commodity and energy producers climbed more than 1.7 percent to lead gains on MSCI’s Asian ex-Japan gauge. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.2 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.3 percent. Markets in Japan, Thailand and the U.K. are closed for a holiday.
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