Asian shares rally as investors await U.S. jobs data

Asian shares rally as investors await U.S. jobs data

January 7, 2022 Off By administrator

Monitors displaying the stock index prices and Japanese yen exchange rate against the U.S. dollar are seen after the New Year ceremony marking the opening of trading in 2022 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan January 4, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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SINGAPORE, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Asian shares mostly rose on Friday, snapping two days of losses after expectations grew that U.S. jobs data due later in the day would reinforce the need for faster U.S. interest rate hikes.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) climbed 0.7%, boosted by gains in Australia where the local benchmark (.AXJO) climbed 1.3%, led by bank stocks.

Japan’s Nikkei (.N225), however, slipped 0.1%.

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China and Hong Kong stocks edged higher on hopes that Beijing will roll out more support measures to prioritise economic stability. Hong Kong stocks (.HSI) added 1.2%, and Chinese blue chips (.CSI300) edged up 0.2%.

An index of Hong Kong-listed mainland property stocks (.HSMPI) jumped 4.6% on media reports that Chinese policymakers plan to exclude debt accrued from acquiring distressed assets when assessing debt ratio compliance. read more

Investors are likely adjusting to “attractive, cheaper” Asian stocks as the year kicks off, said Jim McCafferty, joint head of APAC equity research at Nomura.

“With rates about to go up, from a global risk diversification point of view, investors are likely moving their money from U.S. markets into Asian markets, specifically China because it’s increasingly independent of what the U.S. does,” he said.

Futures pointed to small opening gains in Europe and the United States. Pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.23% and S&P 500 e-mini stock futures advanced 0.2%.

U.S. Treasury yields paused for breath in Asian hours on Friday having risen sharply this week after the Federal Reserve’s December minutes showed that a tight jobs market and unrelenting inflation could force the U.S. central bank to raise rates more aggressively this year.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was last at 1.7231% having reached 1.7530% overnight, its highest since April 2021 and up sharply from its 2021 close of 1.5118%.

The two-year yield , which is closely linked to inflation expectations, was at 0.8741% just off the overnight high of 0.886%.

Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said investors were waiting for U.S. employment figures due later on Friday and inflation data due next week to see whether they would reinforce or undermine the case for faster rate hikes.

Non-farm payrolls likely increased by 400,000 jobs last month after rising 210,000 in November, according to a Reuters survey of economists. read more

Prospects of a strong employment report were boosted by the ADP National employment report on Wednesday, which…

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