Asian stocks rise on US job growth and Chinese exports

Asian stocks rose on Monday morning after news of steady US job growth and Chinese exports exceeding expectations.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent to 23,952.31, the Chinese Shanghai Composite increased by 1.3 percent to 2,448.34, and South Korea’s Kospi rose by 1.3 percent to 1,964.49.

Shares were up across Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan increased by 0.3 per cent. However, Japan’s Nikkei was down as the Yen rebounded.

US Job Growth

American unemployment is down to a new six-year low of 5.8% (from 5.9% in September), with the US adding 214,000 jobs in October, just shy of forecasts of 231,000.

Tohru Yamamoto, chief fixed income strategist at Daiwa Securities, said:

“It was a familiar combination. Rising payrolls, a falling jobless rate and stagnant wages. All this means is that the US economy is moderately recovering, and no major shift in the Fed’s policy outlook, which should reduces market volatility,’’

Impressive Chinese Exports

Chinese export growth did not slow down as much as expected. Exports were up 11.6 per cent in October, which is down from the 15.3 percent surge in September, however, still ahead of forecasts of a 10.6 percent increase. Imports rose 4.6%, below forecasts for a gain of 5.5%.

Chinese consumer inflation gained 1.6% in October (in line with expectations). China posted a trade surplus of $45.4 billion last month, up from $31.0 billion in September.

According to Reuters, Jian Chang, an analyst at Barclays, said:

“Overall, the data painted a similar macro picture as in previous months: Robust export growth led by the US and ASEAN demand, and depressed imports driven by falling commodity prices and soft domestic demand,’’

Dollar falls

The US dollar index (which compares the greenback against six other major currencies) fell by 0.4 percent down to 87.539, retreating from 88.190 on Friday – the highest level seen since June 2010.