Asia shares mixed after US jobs report

AFP
A trader monitors stocks at a securities company in Hong Kong on May 7, 2012
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A trader monitors stocks at a securities company in Hong Kong on May 7, 2012 (AFP Photo/Laurent Fiev …

Asian markets were mixed on Friday with profit-taking erasing an earlier rally after the United States said its economy created more than a quarter of a million jobs in June, sending Wall Street to new records.

The dollar also listed in the afternoon, shedding some of Thursday's New York advances against the yen, although it was still able to hold above the 102 yen level.

Tokyo climbed 0.58 percent, or 88.84 points to finish at 15,437.13 and Sydney added 0.61 percent, or 33.8 points, to 5,525.0. Seoul ended marginally lower, dipping 1.31 points to 2,009.66.

Shanghai slipped 0.19 percent, or 3.85 points, to 2,059.38 and in the afternoon Hong Kong was barely unchanged.

On Thursday the US Labor Department said the world's number one economy added 288,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in May.

The closely-watched figures were well above expectations of 215,000 and add to the sense that a recovery is well on track. They also soothed any lingering concerns some dealers may have had after last month's downgrade of first-quarter economic growth estimates.

Wall Street topped the week off on a high, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting a record for the third straight session. The Dow jumped 0.54 percent to end above 17,000 for the first time, while the S&P 500 gained 0.55 percent. The Nasdaq surged 0.63 percent.

US markets are closed on Friday for the July 4 public holiday.

The dollar also surged on the news, jumping to 102.20 yen in New York from 101.88 yen in Tokyo earlier in the day. On Friday in Tokyo the unit was sitting at 102.05 yen.

- Focus moves to China data -

Some analysts said the data would likely revive expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates sooner than later.

The Fed has said it wants to makes sure economic growth is sound and the jobs market is strong enough before it puts borrowing rates up, pointing to mid-2015 at the earliest.

The euro bought $1.3600 and 138.90 yen early Friday in Japan, compared with $1.3609 and 139.09 yen in US trade.

While investors are cheering the upbeat US news investors will now turn their focus on the release next week of key Chinese data, including trade and inflation.

There are hopes China, the world's number two economy and a key driver of global growth, will be able to add to a recent batch of healthy figures, including Tuesday's indexes of manufacturing activity, which hit their highest levels this year.

In oil trade US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery eased 11 cents to $103.95 while Brent crude rose five cents to $111.05.

Gold fetched $1,322.84 an ounce at 0725 GMT compared with $1,321.07 late Thursday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei fell 0.17 percent, or 16.18 points, to 9,510.05.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. added 0.37 percent to Tw$135.0 but Hon Hai fell 0.96 percent to Tw$103.0.

-- Wellington gained 0.42 percent, or 21.51 points, to 5,188.91.

Air New Zealand was up 0.23 percent at NZ$2.175 and Fletcher Building added 1.36 percent to NZ$8.97.

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