Asian Equities Generally Higher as U.S. Payrolls Boost Optimism

Asian stocks rose after a surprising surge in U.S. payrolls increased optimism about the world’s largest economy and sent the yen tumbling, boosting Japanese shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) advanced 0.1 percent to 140.14 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo after losing 0.5 percent last week. Japan’s Topix (TPX) index gained 0.5 percent after the yen plunged 1.4 percent on Dec. 5. as U.S. employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the most since January 2012. U.S. shares hit records.

Japanese equities rose today even as the economy shrank an annualized 1.9 percent in the third quarter, worse than the initial estimate of a 1.6 percent contraction. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the decline to narrow to 0.5 percent. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is going to the polls on Dec. 14 after the initial reading pushed the nation into recession and he delayed a sales-tax increase.


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