Asian stocks rise after strong Wall Street week
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,402.92 and Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.6 percent to 2,511.40. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 6,130.40 and India’s Sensex added 0.6 percent to 34,369.09. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.1 percent to 30,786.77 while Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Benchmarks in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia rose while New Zealand and Manila declined.
WALL STREET: Stocks rose for a fourth day, led by tech companies after a solid monthly jobs report. U.S. markets are on their longest new-year winning streak in eight years. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.7 percent to 2,743.15. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.9 percent to 25,295.87. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.8 percent to 7,136.56.
WEEK AHEAD: India reports trade on Wednesday, with forecasters expecting solid gains, while China reports a flurry of data including inflation and bank loan growth. The Eurozone reports factory output growth on Thursday. On Friday, China is due to release December trade, with forecasters expecting a double-digit increase following a weak 2017, while the United States reports monthly inflation.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “This is a big week of event risk,” said Chris Weston of IG in a report, emerging markets trade and U.S. inflation. Weston said investors also are looking forward to U.S. earnings later this week, but the picture is “a little more challenging” as companies bring forward charges for repatriating cash under Washington’s tax changes. “This reporting season could be a catalyst, but it does promise to be somewhat messier than prior quarters, not to mention sentiment towards U.S. equities is already sky high.”
U.S. JOBS: The Labor Department said employers added 148,000 jobs in December. That was a bit less than experts expected, but still underscored the continued health of the economy. Wages grew and factory managers received more new orders than in any month since 2004. “This is still fairly impressive in the context of a low unemployment rate,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 10 cents to $61.54 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 57 cents on Friday to close at $67.62. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 8 cents to $67.70 in London. It lost 45 cents the previous session to $67.62.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 113.13 yen from Friday’s 113.07 yen. The euro held steady at $1.2032.