Asian stocks advance after optimistic US employment report

Markets advanced in Asia on Friday after a Wall Street rebound fueled by strong jobs data.

The Tokyo Nikkei 225 Index rebounded 0.3% to 22,220.33, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.3% to 3,130.62. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.6% to 2,148.24, and Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 rose 0.6% to 6,067.30. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Employment data and improved global indicators are fueling sentiment, along with positive reports on possible vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus that has infected more than 10.8 million people and killed more than 520,000, according to Johns University data. Hopkins who experts say underestimate the count due to problems with evidence and asymptomatic cases.

That news brought a “favorable twist to the happy round of risks this week, as this positive news is currently moderating the seemingly endless negative views on new, rapidly increasing daily virus cases in the United States,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp. in a comment.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, its fourth straight gain, ending the week shortened by holidays with a gain of 4%. US markets are closed on Friday in observance of Independence Day.

The Nasdaq compound rose to another all-time high, helped by more gains in tech companies. Energy companies posted some of the biggest gains as oil prices strengthened in hopes that a recovering economy will mean more demand.

However, news that Florida had another sharp increase in confirmed cases helped cut initial S&P 500 earnings by more than half. The bond market was also cautious as yields fell sharply.

A recent surge in new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida, Texas and several other states has led some governors to halt the reopening of their economies or to order the closure of some businesses, such as restaurants and bars. That has tempered some of the optimism for relatively rapid economic change, especially for travel-related sectors such as cruise lines.

Still, investors continue to bet that the recovery will continue, despite the worrying increase in new cases.

The S&P 500 rose 14.15 points to 3,130.01. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 25,827.36. The Nasdaq rose 0.5% to 10,207.63. The Russell 2000 Index of Small Business Stocks also rose, gaining 0.3% to 1,431.86.

The indices rose further at the start of the day’s operations, after the US government said employers added 4.8 million jobs to their payrolls in June for the second consecutive month of growth. The unemployment rate is still very high at 11.1%, but last month’s improvement was much better than economists expected.

The pandemic makes collecting data on the economy unusually difficult, but economists say it is clear that the job market is improving after collapsing in the spring amid widespread closings. That bolsters investors’ hopes that the economy can recover from its recession relatively quickly as governments relax restrictions.

Many workers across the country are still struggling economically, with only a third of the 22 million jobs lost in the recession recovered so far. And concerns are mounting that worsening infection levels not just in Florida, but in the southern and western swaths of the US could drown budding economic improvements. Such concerns have kept the market under control since early June after a months-long rocket trip.

Energy reserves have benefited from hopes that a recovering economy will restore some of the demand for oil that disappeared in the spring when people stopped driving, planes were parked in the desert, and factories were idle. The benchmark US crude oil index for August delivery fell 20 cents to $ 40.45 a barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday it rose 83 cents to hit $ 40.65 a barrel. Brent crude for September delivery fell 20 cents to $ 42.95 a barrel.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was stable at 0.67%. It tends to move with investor expectations for the economy and inflation.

In currency transactions, the US dollar rose to 107.55 Japanese yen from 107.50 yen. The euro rose to $ 1.1247 from $ 1.1236.