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Asian shares gain on weaker yen, U.S. jobs data

ASiAN AND TAIWAN Stocks

Asian shares gain on weaker yen, U.S. jobs data

Asian shares jumped in thin Easter holiday trading on a weaker yen and a more upbeat economic outlook for manufacturers, as markets eyed positive U.S. jobs data later Friday.
The increases came as the dollar's recent strength against the Japanese currency boosted prospects for exporters' repatriated earnings.
Tokyo's Nikkei closed up 0.37 percent while Shanghai rose 0.31 percent and Taipei added 0.16 percent. Seoul advanced 0.25 percent at the close.
The dollar was trading at 93.99 yen in late Tokyo trade Friday, slightly higher than 93.89 overnight.
"As the market has kept rising in a short period of time, investors want to sell to take profits at some point," Mamoru Nakajo, manager at Phoenix Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
"But since other markets are strong, they find themselves having to chase the Japan market higher."
Sentiment remained buoyed by HSBC and government data showing Thursday that Chinese manufacturing picked up in March and a Bank of Japan survey saying manufacturers were at their most optimistic about the economy since September 2008.
Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance, which saw a huge debut Thursday, continued to rise, settling up 1.56 percent at 162,500 yen. It "will likely keep rising next week," an analyst said.
The insurer made its debut Thursday at 160,000 yen against an IPO price of 140,000 yen.
Later Friday the US Labor Department publishes its March jobs report, which is expected to show the first substantial increase in payrolls for more than two years, heralding a quickening economic recovery.
Economists expect the March unemployment rate to stay at 9.7 percent but for 190,000 people to be added to the payrolls.
The Nikkei business daily said the main creditors of bankrupt Japan Airlines, including the Development Bank of Japan, are to demand drastic cuts to its international service in exchange for further cash injections.
Chinese shares rose 0.31 percent in afternoon trading Friday as buying interest subsided after strong manufacturing data gave shares a boost in the previous session, dealers said.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, was up 9.75 points at 3,157.17.
"Some mid-sized and small cap stocks may decline and dent the gains from resource companies, but the index is likely to continue its positive momentum in the coming sessions," said Zheng Weigang, an analyst from Shanghai.
China said Friday it will make its own decisions on how to manage its exchange rate and rejected accusations that the yuan is undervalued, amid growing international calls for a stronger currency.
"The Chinese government will make responsible and independent decisions on the foreign exchange policy based on its economic and monetary situation," Vice Commerce Minister Chen Jian told reporters.
International disquiet has grown over the yuan, which critics say is undervalued by as much as 40 percent against the dollar, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage.
The Taiwan weighted index closed up 12.84 points or 0.16 percent at 8,025,93 amid rotational buying, dealers said.
"After the market stood above the key 8,000 point level Thursday, market sentiment has turned cautious about strong resistance ahead," Grand Cathay Securities analyst Mars Hsu said.
Hsu said he expects the local bourse will trade in a narrow range next week.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gained 0.48 percent to NT$62.40, while United Microelectronics Corp lost 0.89 percent to NT$16.75.


Updated : 2021-08-02 06:39 GMT+08:00