Asia stock markets mixed after strong US jobs report

by Jonathan Adams
Asian stock markets

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index was 0.5% higher at 38,872.19, while South Korea’s Kospi slid 0.7% to 2,705.06

Asian markets were mixed on Monday after a jobs report released Friday came in hotter than expected, while the euro dropped after French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly following a setback in Sunday’s parliamentary election.

U.S. futures and oil prices gained.

Trading in Asia was muted with markets in China, Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan shut for holidays.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index was 0.5% higher at 38,872.19 after government data on Monday showed Japan’s economy contracted at an annualized 1.8% pace in January-March compared to the earlier quarter, an upward revision from the previously announced 2% decline.

South Korea’s Kospi slid 0.7% to 2,705.06.

Meanwhile, in Europe, far-right parties made major gains in parliamentary elections Sunday, leading French President Emmanuel Macron to announce that he was dissolving the National Assembly and calling a snap legislative election. This caused the euro to decline to its lowest price in nearly a month. On Monday dealing, the euro was trading at $1.0766, down from $1.0778.

On Friday, the S&P 500 dropped 0.1% to 5,346.99, the Nasdaq composite slid 0.2% to 38,798.99, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2% to 38,798.99.

U.S. employers added 272,000 jobs in May, up from April and more than economists anticipated. The report also showed the unemployment rate rising for a second consecutive month. Overall, it indicates continued strength in the jobs market, with some minor signs of weakening. The strong jobs market has supported consumer spending and the wider economy, but it has also been complicating the Fed’s path ahead for interest rates.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 4.43% from 4.29% just before the jobs report was released. The two-year yield, which more closely tracks expectations for the Federal Reserve, climbed to 4.89% from 4.74% prior to the report’s release.

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