BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rose Monday after strong U.S. jobs data reassured investors the world's largest economy still is growing and helped boost American stocks to record highs.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1 percent to 22,376.94 and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.1 percent to 2,978.30. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.9 percent to 2,017.94 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.4 percent to 4,497.20. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 16,254.45. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines also rose.
WALL STREET RISE: U.S. stocks jumped to record highs after the Labor Department said U.S. employers added 255,000 jobs in July — far more than investors expected and the second straight month of strong gains after shaky reports this spring. Financial and technology stocks soared and investors sold the safe assets they have favored for most of this year. Consumer companies also made big gains. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 191.48 points, or 1 percent, to 18,543.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 18.62 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,182.87. The Nasdaq advanced 54.87 points, or 1.1 percent, to a record close of 5,221.12.
ANALYST'S COMMENT: "The market's trepidations concerning the U.S. labor market are definitively in the rear view mirror after the second consecutive resilient report," said Stephen Innes of OANDA in a report. Job gains in July "transcended even the most optimistic of expectations," said Innes. "It is easy to check off good-news boxes within this stellar jobs report and tough to find any negatives."
CHINA TRADE: China's exports fell again in July compared with a year earlier while a decline in imports accelerated. Exports contracted 4.4 percent to $184.7 billion, a slight improvement over June's 4.8 percent contraction. Imports fell 12.5 percent to $132.4 billion, accelerating from a decline of 8.4 percent. Weak global demand has hampered efforts to shore up Chinese trade and stave off job losses in export industries. Investors also were looking ahead to Chinese inflation and retail sales data due out this week for signals on which direction the world's second-largest economy is headed.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $41.93 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 13 cents on Friday to close at $41.80. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 2 cents to $44.29 per barrel in London. It lost 2 cents on Friday to close at $44.27.
CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 102.06 yen from Friday's 101.82 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1096 from $1.1087.