SINGAPORE – Asian stock indexes rose Monday as investors rallied around a U.S. jobs report, despite fresh signs of a burgeoning trade war as weekend China-U.S. trade talks ended in an apparent impasse.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.4 per cent to 22,481.64 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3 per cent to 2,446.77. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 1.3 per cent to 30,889.91 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2 per cent to 3,081.77. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 per cent to 6,025.00. Taiwan’s benchmark rose and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly higher.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks finished higher on Friday. The S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent to 2,734.62, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.9 per cent to 24,635.21. The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.5 per cent to 7,554.33.
MORE U.S. JOBS: U.S. employers added a robust 233,000 jobs in May, up from 159,000 in April, helping to drive the nation’s unemployment rate to an 18-year low of 3.8 per cent. “The May jobs report revealed impressive strength and breadth in U.S. job creation that blew away most economists’ expectations,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West.
CHINA’S WARNING: Raising the likelihood of a trade war, China said Sunday that it won’t step up purchases of American products if President Donald Trump taxes billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese imports. In May, China had promised to “significantly increase” its purchases of U.S. farm, energy and other products. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said then that the U.S. tariffs were suspended and the trade war “on hold.” President Trump has since renewed his threat to impose 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese high-tech goods.
QUOTEWORTHY: “The weekend has produced no positive trade developments and a few more negative ones. The