A decent US Non-Farm Payrolls number on Friday was balanced out by weaker ISM Manufacturing data and a sharp rise in short-dated US yields as rate hike expectations rose. NFP posted a lower than expected, but still very healthy, gain of 431,000 jobs. Notably, the previous month’s total was revised higher by 95,000 jobs. The headline employment number was enough to allow Wall Street to eke out modest, if unconvincing gains. The S&P 500 rose by 0.34%, the Nasdaq edged 0.29% higher, while the Dow Jones gained 0.40%. US futures in Asia are unchanged.
Asian markets calm at start of week
In Asia, equities are ranging around unchanged, with Covid-19 concerns in mainland China capping sentiment, with a mainland holiday also sapping trading volumes. The Nikkei 225 is 0.10% higher, while South Korea’s Kospi is up 0.25%. Mainland China markets are closed but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has risen by 1.35% after Chinese authorities moved to ease audit inspection barriers for US-listed China companies.
Some positive news out of China this weekend, which could be mildly supportive for Wall Street later today, is that China appears to be loosening its audit restrictions, reducing the immediate threat of a mass delisting of US-listed Chinese companies. Many of those are listed in Hong Kong, which should also find reasons to cheer as a result.
In regional markets, Singapore is 0.10% higher, Kuala Lumpur has eased by 0.25%, while Jakarta is unchanged. Bangkok is 0.10% higher, with Manila falling 0.25%. Taiwan is also closed for a holiday. Australian markets are the day’s best performers, the ASX 200 rising by 0.40%, and the All Ordinaries by 0.58%, led by resources.
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