Asian markets followed the US dollar as news and commentators played down problems in the Far East.
The Asian markets are following through on the strength of the US dollar as it rallies in line with Friday’s US employment figures, up to 248,000 from 216,000. At the same time, employment figures rose in the UK giving a spur to equity markets, taking the FTSE up at the end of a bad week for the London exchange.
As many protesters in Hong Kong go back to work, the markets began to unfreeze and investors became interested in stocks bringing the Nikkei up by 1.16 per cent and the Hang Seng up 1.09 per cent. Despite the delays caused by Typhoon Phanfone on the Bullet Train arriving in Tokyo, the Asian markets stayed buoyant.
In the US, indices on average went up, with the S&P500 having its best day for two months levelling at $1,967.90 as markets closed on Friday. With the figures announced for US non-farm employment up by a healthy 32,000 and a strong dollar, this was inevitable. The trend of losers was across many energy related industries due to the low prices in oil. However, for all the celebration regarding employment, the downside to the US economy is that wages are still below 2008 recession rates. At the same time, the FED has no immediate date to raise interest rates.
Across the UK markets there was a resurgence in the banks, and good results from easyJet as the operator gained relief from low fuel prices, taking a rise of 5.3 per cent on Friday and still rallying on Monday at +1.98 per cent. The FTSE went up by 40 points, backed by an interest in financial stocks, such as HSBC, up by 2.4 per cent, and Lloyds, up by 1.3 per cent.
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