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Asia-Pacific markets open higher after U.S. jobs report missed expectations

A pedestrian looks at an electronic quotation board showing numbers of the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo on September 11, 2020.

Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Stock markets in Asia-Pacific opened higher on Monday following “a big miss” in the U.S. jobs report released Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose around 0.85%, while the Topix was 0.89% higher.

In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.51% while Australia’s ASX 200 inched up 0.67% in early trade.

The widely watched U.S. jobs report for April came in weaker than expected. The report showed U.S. employers added 266,000 net payrolls last month and the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%.

But Wall Street had only a mild reaction to the bad news. Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 2.7% last week, while the S&P 500 gained 1.2%. Despite a 0.9% rally in the week’s final session, the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.5% over the same period.

“A big miss for non-farm payrolls was another case of ‘bad news is good news’ for US equities on Friday. The 266k addition would in normal times be extremely impressive but it shocked the market that was expecting nearly four times that number,” analysts from Australian bank ANZ wrote in a morning note.

Investors will be watching for a number of data releases from Australia on Monday, including retail sales for March and the first quarter, as well as the NAB business confidence survey.

The U.S. dollar fell 0.07% to 90.174 against a basket of its peers in early Monday.

Across the region, the Japanese yen changed hands at 108.69 per dollar, while the Australian dollar strengthened 0.22% against the U.S. dollar to $0.7859.

In oil markets, U.S. crude futures advanced 1.12%% to $65.63 per barrel as much of one of the largest pipelines in the U.S. remains closed following a cybersecurity attack. Global benchmark Brent was up 1.16% to $69.07 per barrel.

CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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