Mon, Feb 4, 2013Asian shares edge higher after U.S. Jobs
Asian shares edged higher on Monday, buoyed by U.S. data which maintained expectations for a mild recovery and continued loose Federal Reserve monetary policy to support it, bolstered by solid manufacturing data from Europe and China.
The yen hit its lowest since August 2008 against the Australian and New Zealand dollars early on Monday and stuck near lows against the euro and the U.S. dollar and confidence of bold monetary support to overcome Japan's stubborn deflation.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.2 percent after posting a weekly gain of 0.7 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose to 14,000 for the first time since October 2007 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. SPX hit its highest point since December of that year.
U.S. data showed on Friday payrolls rose by 157,000 last month, with upward revisions for November and December, while the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to its highest since April.
China followed with positive news over the weekend, saying growth in its official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector ticked up in January for the fourth straight monthly rise, confirming the world's second-largest economy was showing a modest recovery.
Resources-reliant Australian shares .AXJO edged up 0.2 percent, after jumping 0.9 percent to a 21-month high on Friday. Positive economic news from China, Australia's largest export destination, usually boosts Australian investor sentiment.
South Korean shares .KS11 opened up 0.6 percent.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average .N225 opened 0.6 percent higher, climbing to a fresh 33-month high as the yen declined. The index logged its 12th straight week of increases last week, the longest run of weekly gains since 1959.
The dollar steadied at 92.83 yen after scaling its highest since May 2010 of 92.97 on Friday, while the euro was up 0.1 percent to 126.71 yen, near its loftiest since April 2010 of 126.97 touched on Friday.
In early Monday trade, the yen plunged to its lowest since August 2008 against both the Australian dollar, at 96.78 yen, and against the New Zealand dollar at 78.74 yen.
The euro inched 0.1 percent higher to $1.3649, off Friday's 14-1/2-month peak of $1.3711 hit after data showed euro zone factories had their best month in January in nearly a year.
On Friday, the dollar index measured against a basket of key currencies fell to a 4-1/2-month low of 78.918.
As economic optimism rose and concerns about the euro zone's debt difficulties eased, investors took on more risk.