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Asian markets and dollar climb after US jobs data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Asian markets rose Monday, with the greenback also climbing, after a report showing modest gains in US job creation eased concerns the Federal Reserve will soon start to roll back its huge monetary easing scheme.

However, buying sentiment was tempered by more relatively weak trade data out of China that adds to concerns of a slowdown in the world's number two economy.

Tokyo rallied 4.94 percent, surging 636.67 points to 13,514.20 as the dollar clawed back some of last week's losses against the yen. Seoul added 0.46 percent, or 8.85 points, to close at 1,932.70.

Hong Kong ended up 0.18 percent, or 39.83 points, at 21,615.09.

Shanghai and Sydney were closed for public holidays.

On Friday the Labor Department said 175,000 jobs were generated in May, better than expected but still only at the same pace of the past year.

Kenji Shiomura, strategist at Daiwa Securities, said the figures "reduced concerns over the Fed's reeling in its bond-buying programme soon".

Global markets had been in flux for the past week as dealers bet that the Fed would pull the plug on the scheme, known as quantitative easing.

The news boosted the dollar. In late afternoon Tokyo trade the greenback stood at 98.70 yen, compared with 97.56 yen late Friday in New York and 96.44 yen in Asia earlier Friday. The US unit sank more than four percent at one point last week.

India's partially-convertible rupee meanwhile fell to a lifetime low of 58.05 to the dollar, boosting IT outsourcing firms which bill most of their overseas clients in dollar terms.

The euro traded at $1.3197, from $1.3218 late Friday. It was at 129.70 yen from 128.95 yen.

The job report also provided support for US stocks. The Dow jumped 1.38 percent, the S&P 500 put on 1.28 percent and the Nasdaq added 1.32 percent.

Japanese investors took extra cheer from revised figures that showed the economy grew at an annualised rate of 4.1 percent in January-March, up from an preliminary reading of 3.5 percent.

Also Monday, official figures showed Japan posted a current account surplus for the third straight month in April, as the weaker yen helped boost the value of income from overseas investments.

However, trade figures out of China provided fresh worries for the Asian economic giant.

On Saturday Beijing reported a sharp slowdown in exports in May compared to April, while imports unexpectedly dropped owing to weakness in the domestic economy.

Official data also showed industrial production rose at a slower pace than the previous month while fixed-asset investment also came in below expectations.

"The macro data for May have confirmed that the economy is stuck in stagnant growth again after quite a brief rebound," Ren Xianfang, senior economist at IHS Global Insight, wrote in a commentary.

Oil prices rose, with New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in July, down 43 cents to $95.60 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for July fell 56 cents to $104.00 in the afternoon.

Gold was at $1,380.57 at 1035 GMT from $1,411.60 late Friday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei rose 0.81 percent, or 65.35 points, to 8,160.55.

Hon Hai Precision added 1.33 percent to Tw$76.2 while Nan Ya Plastics was 2.52 percent higher at Tw$61.0.

-- Wellington finished 0.76 percent higher, adding 33.53 points to 4,473.38.

Fletcher Building closed up 0.8 percent at NZ$8.36, Sky City rose 4.3 percent to NZ$4.33 and Air New Zealand was up 2.3 percent at NZ$1.54.

-- Manila closed 2.59 percent higher, surging 173.65 points to 6,875.60.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust gained 2.36 percent to 125.90 pesos while SM Prime Holdings rose 6.62 percent to 18.36 pesos.

-- Bangkok added 0.81 percent or 12.31 points to 1,528.55.

Supermarket operator Big C gained 4.50 percent to 209 baht, while Thai Airways International jumped 4.92 percent to 32 baht.

-- Jakarta ended down 1.81 percent, or 87.96 points, at 4,777.37.

Miner Aneka Tambang dropped 3.17 percent to 1,220 rupiah, while food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur tumbled 7.59 percent to 6,700 rupiah.

-- Singapore rose 0.50 percent, or 15.79 points to 3,200.51.

DBS Bank added 0.75 percent to Sg$16.09 and oil rig maker Keppel Corp increased 1.34 percent to Sg$10.59.

-- Kuala Lumpur shares gained 12.21 points, or 0.69 percent, to close at 1,787.80.

Bumi Armada rose 3.9 percent to 3.97 ringgit, IOI Corp gained 3.4 percent to 5.49 while UEM Land lost 1.5 percent to 3.36.

-- Mumbai edged up 0.06 percent or 11.84 points at 19,441.07.

India's third largest IT outosurcer Wipro rose 2.12 percent to 342.7 rupees while rival Infosys gained 1.64 percent to 2,487.05 rupees.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130610/asian-markets-and-dollar-climb-after-us-jobs-data-1