Shares gained in Europe and Asia on Monday after a strong U.S. jobs report helped Wall Street benchmarks end last week on a high note.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 11,984.30 and the CAC40 of France added 0.1 percent to 4,997.80. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent to 7,349.22. Dow futures gained 0.1 percent while S&P 500 futures were flat, auguring a slow start to U.S. trading.
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ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.2 percent to 19,633.75 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent to 23,829.67. South Korea's Kospi added 1 percent to 2,117.59. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.8 percent to 3,237.02, while Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.3 percent to 5,757.30. Shares rose in Taiwan and were mixed in Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks rose Friday after the strong February jobs report, though investors are waiting for the Federal Reserve's meeting on Wednesday. The central bank is almost universally expected to raise interest rates.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "The key to market performance this week is the response to the U.S. lift in rates. Such a well-flagged and expected move is unlikely to disrupt the current optimism, even if the Fed takes the opportunity to re-iterate a steeper tightening path," Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets said in a commentary.
HSBC CHAIRMAN: Shares in HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, rose 2.1 percent Monday after it announced it has named AIA chief executive Mark Tucker to replace Douglas Flint as its chairman. That helped lift Hong Kong's benchmark, since the bank accounts for 10.72 percent of the Hang Seng index.
CHINA CHEER: Various senior Chinese officials made reassuring comments about the state of the economy in news conferences on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Traders are awaiting the release Tuesday of industrial production data.
JAPAN MACHINERY: The government reported that machinery orders fell 10 percent in January from the month before and "core" orders excluding ships and orders from utilities fell 3.2 percent. The data were weaker than forecast, suggesting persisting slow corporate investment in factories inside Japan.
KOREAN REBOUND: Friday's ruling by the Constitutional Court upholding the impeachment of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye helped clear some of the uncertainty that has overhung the market in recent months. The ruling ended a power struggle that had consumed the nation for months.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 4 cents to $48.45 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 79 cents to $48.49 on Friday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, lost 6 cents to $51.31.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 114.58 yen from 114.77 and the euro was flat at $1.0674.
AP Business Writer Kelvin Chan contributed to this report.