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Asian Stocks Up After Better-Than Expected U.S. Employment Report

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asian stocks were up on Monday morning, basking after the release a U.S. jobs report that beat expectations on Friday.

The U.S. non-farm payroll increased by 2.5 million, against expectations of an 8-million drop. The jobless rate also fell to 13.3% in May from April’s 14.7%, according to the Labor Department’s employment report released on Friday.

“The US employment report was another one for the history books, with the biggest miss ever relative to expectations...the data are consistent with activity indicators that show a recovery in activity as US lockdowns eased, following the big hole in the economy in April, and give increased confidence that activity is on a clear path upward from here as restrictions have eased further,” Jason Wong, senior markets strategist at BNZ Markets, said in a note.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday will also be a focal point for investors, as the Fed announces its policy decision.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.25% by 11:05 PM ET (4:05 AM GMT), even after the country’s first-quarter GDP shrank 0.6% quarter-on-quarter and 2.2% year-on-year.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will submit a second extra budget to parliament later in the day to finance the country’s stimulus package cushioning the impact of COVID-19.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.14%, reversing some of its earlier losses, as the country struggles to contain a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 virus clusters.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.38% and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.70%. Data released on Sunday showed that Chinese exports shrank by 3.3% in May year-on-year, while imports shrank by a larger-than-expected 16.7%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up by 0.51%. Down Under, the ASX 200 was closed for a holiday.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases globally has topped 7 million, and the number of deaths now exceeds 400,000, as of June 8, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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