Asia up after dismal U.S. jobs data, dollar pressured

Mon Apr 6, 2015 12:58am EDT
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By Lisa Twaronite

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares rose and the dollar steadied but remained under pressure on Monday, after a dismal U.S. jobs report led investors to pare bets the U.S. Federal Reserve would hike interest rates anytime soon.

Major European markets were closed from Friday to Monday for the Easter holiday, reopening on Tuesday.

Labor Department data showed U.S. employers added the fewest jobs in more than a year in March. The rise of 126,000 jobs was well below expectations for a gain of 245,000 forecast by a Reuters poll of economists.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.7 percent to push to its highest levels since September 2014. Japan's Nikkei stock average .N225 slumped 0.3 percent, though it pared earlier sharp losses as the yen gave up gains against the dollar.

U.S. stock markets were closed on Friday for the Easter holiday, but U.S. stock futures fell after the jobs data, suggesting a lower open on Wall Street later on Monday. U.S. S&P e-mini equity futures ESc1 were thinly traded in Asian time, and were down 0.7 percent after shedding 1 percent on Friday.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes, which moves inversely to prices, hit nearly two-month lows of 1.8 percent on Friday, and stood at 1.829 percent in Asian trading, keeping pressure on the greenback.

"The dollar will likely remain pressured for some time on easing expectations for the Federal Reserve's rate hike in June," said Park Yu-na, an analyst at Dongbu Securities, after the South Korean won climbed to a two-month high against the U.S. currency.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, edged up 0.2 percent to 96.727 .DXY.   Continued...

An employee of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) looks at a stock quotation board as he works at the bourse at TSE in Tokyo March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino