Japanese shares rise as main Asia Pacific markets are closed

SINGAPORE – Japanese stocks rose Monday afternoon as many major Asia Pacific markets are closed for public holidays.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.91% while the Topix index was up 0.66%.

South Korea’s Kospi hovered over the flatline. LG Electronics’ shares rose approximately 0.6%. The company announced on Monday that it was closing its mobile division to focus resources on “growth areas” like electric vehicle components.

The broadest MSCI index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan has hardly changed.

The markets in Australia, Mainland China and Hong Kong are closed on Mondays for public holidays.

US payrolls exceed expectations

In terms of economic development, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that the number of non-agricultural workers rose by 916,000 in March – well above the 675,000 increase that Dow Jones polled economists had expected.

The unemployment rate also fell to 6%, in line with the expectations of economists polled by Dow Jones.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, came in at 92.942 – up above 93.3 from late last month.

The Japanese yen was trading at 110.57 per dollar, weaker than 110.5 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7619, above the $ 0.756 level seen last week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with the international benchmark Brent crude oil futures falling 0.99% to $ 64.22 a barrel. US crude oil futures were down 0.91% to $ 60.89 a barrel.

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