Asian Stocks Follow Wall St Up After Strong US Jobs Report

BEIJING (AP) -- World stocks and Wall Street futures rose Monday after U.S. jobs data suggested a recession might be farther off while at the same time inflation pressures are weakening.

London and Frankfurt opened higher. Tokyo gained more than 2%. Shanghai and Hong Kong also rose.

Oil prices rose more than $1.60 per barrel after Saudi Arabia announced it will cut output by 1 million barrels per day to support sagging prices.

Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index leaped 1.5% on Friday after government data showed employers hired more people than expected in May. That suggests the economy is strong despite repeated rate increases to cool inflation.

Wage gains slowed, suggesting pressure for prices to rise might be weakening. That would reduce the need for the Federal Reserve to cool business activity with more rate hikes.

"Markets appear poised to ride last week's upward momentum as bubbly risk appetite finds a comfort pillow in hopes for a U.S. soft landing," said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.4% to 7,641.19 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 0.2% to 16,087.01. The CAC 40 in Paris was unchanged at 7,270.84.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 future was up less than 0.1%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.2%.

On Friday, the Dow rallied 2.1% and the Nasdaq composite gained 1.1%.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 2.2% to 32,217.43 and the Shanghai Composite Index added less than 0.1% to 3,232.44. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.7% to 19,089.47.

The Kospi in Seoul was 0.5% higher at 2,615.41 and the S&P ASX 200 in Sydney jumped 1% to 7,216.30.

India's Sensex opened up 0.5% at 62,844.36. Singapore and Jakarta gained. Markets in New Zealand and Thailand were closed for holidays.

The Labor Department's monthly jobs report showed a slowdown in wage increases even though hiring strengthened. While that may discourage workers who are trying to keep up with rising prices, investors believe slower wage gains will mean less upward pressure on inflation.

U.S. unemployment also rose by more than expected last month, moving up to 3.7% from a five-decade low. That implies more slack in the job market and seems to conflict with hiring data, which come from a separate survey.

Following the report, traders were largely expecting the Fed to hold interest rates steady at this month's meeting. That would be the first time it hasn't hiked rates in more than a year.

Higher rates have also hurt many smaller and mid-sized banks, in part because customers have pulled deposits in search of higher interest at money-market funds.

Three bank failures in the United States and one in Switzerland have shaken the market, leading Wall Street to hunt for other possible weak links. Several under the heaviest scrutiny rallied following the jobs report. PacWest Bancorp leaped 14.1% to trim its loss for the year to 66.6%.

Fed officials have also warned a pause on rate hikes at this month's meeting won't necessarily mean the end to increases.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.64 to $73.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.64 on Friday to $71.74. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, advanced $1.65 to $77.78 per barrel in London. It added $1.85 the previous session to $76.13.

The dollar rose to 140.24 yen from Friday's 139.94 yen. The euro fell to $1.0694 from $1.0712.