Asian stocks rose Monday as a U.S. jobs report set off hopes among traders that the Federal Reserve will wait before raising interest rates.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.2 percent to 17,129.68 in the morning session. South Korea’s Kospi gained nearly 1.0 percent in early trading to 2,057.77. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.4 percent to 23,582.86, while the Shanghai Composite was virtually unchanged, inching up 0.01 percent to 3,067.52.
Job gains slowed in most major industries in August and wages only rose a little. While the U.S. is on a long streak of job growth, reports over the last few months have been inconsistent. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates slightly in December and wants to gradually bring them back closer to where they were before the financial crisis of 2008. But most investors didn’t expect rates to rise this month, and the jobs report appeared to confirm that.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 72.66 points, or 0.4 percent, to end last week at 18,491.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9.12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,179.98. The Nasdaq composite gained 22.69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,249.90.
“Overall, jobs data continue to paint the broad recovery picture in the labor market. And this does not change the view that the Fed is still on course to tighten policy,” said Cynthia Jane Kalasopatan, Singapore Treasury Division at Mizuho Bank.
U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 33 cents to $44.11 a barrel in New York. It rose $1.28 to $44.44 late last week. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, fell 37 cents to $46.46 a barrel.
The dollar rose to 103.89 yen from 103.31 yen and the euro edged down to $1.1160 from $1.1202.