Asian markets rose on Monday after a healthy lead from Wall Street as positive US jobs data trumped fresh trade war threats, while the yuan extended a recovery after the Chinese central bank moved to support the unit.
Hong Kong led gains as the week got off to an upbeat start, with dealers tracking their New York and European counterparts following recent painful losses.
Data on Friday showed that while the US economy saw a slowdown in jobs creation in July, the pace of hiring remained strong over the past three months.
The report also showed wage growth remained tepid, helping temper worries about an overheating economy.
The result provided some much-needed cheer to markets, which managed to brush off a warning from Beijing that it would impose new tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods if Washington pushes ahead with levies on $200 billion of Chinese imports.
Despite reports that unofficial talks have been held between the two sides, trade tensions continue to rise with a top White House advisor calling China a bad bet and saying its economy — the world’s second biggest — was struggling.
Still, equity traders were in a buying mood Monday. Hong Kong piled on more than one percent while Shanghai added 0.2 percent and Tokyo went into the break 0.5 percent higher.
Sydney rose 0.7 percent, Singapore jumped more than one percent and Taipei was 0.3 percent stronger. Jakarta climbed 0.7 percent despite an earthquake that rattled the island of Lombok, killing dozens of people.
– Pound struggles –
Support also came from the People’s Bank of China decision late Friday to unveil measures making it harder to bet against the yuan, which has suffered steep losses the past two months.
The currency, which is around lows not seen for more than a year, bounced back soon after the announcement and it extended the gains Monday.
The bank’s measure was similar to a move when the currency went into freefall following a devaluation three years ago that rattled global markets.