Asian shares gain as upbeat U.S. jobs data offsets trade worries

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares rose to their highest level in two-and-a-half-weeks on Monday as strong U.S. jobs data offset worries that tariff wars between the United States and the rest of the world could drag on global economic growth.

A woman looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.0 percent to a high last seen on May 17, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.3 percent.

Tech names such as Tencent and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing were among the biggest gainers.

On Wall Street on Friday, U.S. tech shares soared, pushing up the Nasdaq Composite 1.51 percent to 7,554, near its record closing high of 7,588 marked in March.

In contrast, the S&P 500, which rose 1.08 percent on Friday, was still about 140 points off its record peak of 2,872 set in January as concerns about trade frictions curtailed many other shares.

Finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies vented anger over the Trump administration’s metal import tariffs on Saturday, setting up a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec.

In a rare show of division among the normally harmonious club of wealthy nations, the six other G7 member countries issued a statement asking U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to convey their “unanimous concern and disappointment” about the tariffs to President Donald Trump.

“The G7 is showing more divisions than unity, to the point where one has to wonder whether it is worth holding meetings,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

“The G7 summit this weekend could be equally terrible. There’s even talk that Trump may not go. Concerns on trade frictions are likely to continue to weigh on

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