News Column

Asian stocks rise on strong US jobs report

July 3, 2014

YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) Asian stock markets mostly rose Friday after the U.S. reported strong hiring for June.

The Nikkei 225 average, the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, gained 0.6 percent to 15,443.65 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.1 percent at 23,545.86.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average was buoyed by the jobs figures and topped 17,000 for the first time, another in a string of records for the index that has lifted portfolios in a five-year bull market for stocks.

The government reported that U.S. employers added 288,000 workers to their payrolls in June and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. The U.S. economy is now creating about 231,000 jobs each month in 2014, compared to roughly 194,000 a month last year.

The jobs report is the latest piece of data to show the world's biggest economy continues to improve steadily. Also helping stocks are solid corporate earnings and continued support from central banks.

The Kospi in South Korea was little changed at 2,010.04. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6 percent to 5,526.40. Markets in Southeast Asia were also higher.

On Wall Street, the Dow rose 92.02 points to finish Thursday at 17,068.26. The S&P 500 closed up 10.82 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,985.44, within striking range of its round-number 2,000 milestone. The Nasdaq composite gained 28.19 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,485.93.

U.S. markets are closed Friday for the Fourth of July holiday. U.S. stock trading will reopen Monday.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 7 cents at $103.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 42 cents to $104.06 on Thursday, its sixth day of declines.

In currencies, the euro slipped to $1.3606 from $1.3609 late Thursday. The dollar fell to 102.08 yen from 102.21 yen.

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Source: Associated Press

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