Japan stocks at 3-1/2-month high as U.S. jobs data fans recovery hopes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan stocks at 3-1/2-month high as U.S. jobs data fans recovery hopes
Credit: © Reuters.

SYDNEY, June 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares climbed to a 3-1/2-month high on Monday after a surprise increase in U.S. employment gave investors further confidence of a swift global economic recovery from a coronavirus-triggered slump.

The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 rose 0.9% to 23,075.73 by the midday break, its highest level since Feb. 21.

All three major indexes on the Wall Street gained more than 2% on Friday, after a strikingly upbeat May jobs report unexpectedly provided evidence that the U.S. economy is headed for a quicker-than-anticipated recovery. .N

The U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate down to 13.3%, although analysts forecast unemployment soaring to a 19.8%. continued confidence in the revival of the global economy, the safe-haven yen weakened further, with the dollar/yen JPY=EBS hitting a 2-1/2-month high of 109.85 yen late Friday.

As a weaker yen boosts Japanese manufacturers' profits made abroad when repatriated, shares of export-oriented automakers were in demand, with Nissan 7201.T and Mazda 7261.T jumping 5.9% and 4.5%, respectively.

Longer-term U.S. Treasury yields US10YT=RR surged on Friday, providing a tailwind for Tokyo-listed financial stocks .IINSU.T .IBNKS.T . Dai-ichi Life Holdings 8750.T soared 6.2% and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) 8306.T added 4.2%. US/N

Elsewhere, oil-related companies attracted buying as oil prices advanced after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and allies agreed on Saturday to extend record oil production cuts until the end of July. O/R

Japan's top oil and gas exploration companies Inpex 1605.T leaped 4.3% and Japan Petroleum Exploration 1662.T gained 2.7%, while oil wholesalers JXTG Holdings 5020.T and Idemitsu Kosan Showa Shell (LON: RDSa ) 5019.T surged 2.7% and 2.6%, respectively.

The broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.6% to 1,621.83 by the recess, a level unseen since Feb. 25., with three-fourths of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading higher.

The market, however, did not react to Japan's revised GDP data that showed a slightly stronger-than-expected capex.

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