Asian shares rise on robust China, US data; Japan's Nikkei falls as yen rebounds

Energy Associated Press

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday after the release of strong U.S. jobs figures and weekend data showing China's exports remained on an upward trend.

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KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent to 23,952.31 and China's Shanghai Composite was up 1.3 percent at 2,448.34 on news a trading link between the two exchanges will start next week. South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.3 percent to 1,964.49. But the yen unwinding some of its recent weakness helped drag Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index 0.9 percent lower to 16,735.70. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.8 percent to 5,506.60. Shares were higher in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

CHINA'S TRADE: China's trade growth decelerated in October, but the 11.6 percent rise in exports from a year earlier was still relatively robust. Imports also rose though the increase was below forecasts. After China's economic growth slowed to 7.3 percent in the third quarter there were renewed worries a deeper slowdown was looming.

THE QUOTE: "Investors will be encouraged that ongoing improvement in exports remains a source of growth for China's economy. This adds credence to weekend comments by President Xi Jinping that the risks to China's economy can be controlled and that it remains stable," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

U.S. JOBS: Upward revisions to past data and the overall growth in jobs helped compensate for an October employment figure that was slightly below expectations. But the jobless rate reading of 5.8 percent, compared with 7.2 percent a year earlier, has done little to dispel anxiety over slow wage growth, analysts say.

WALL STREET: U.S. markets eked out modest gains on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,554.47. The S&P 500 index gained 7.64 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,031.21 The Nasdaq composite gained 17.75 points, also 0.4 percent, to 4,638.47.

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ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 41 cents to $79.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It ended Friday up 74 cents at $78.65. Brent crude, used to price oil in international markets, gained 46 cents to $83.85.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 114.24 yen from 114.59 on Friday. The euro rose to $1.2475 from $1.2453 on Friday.