BEIJING: Asian stock markets were mixed Monday after Wall Street rose to a record on optimism the spread of coronavirus vaccines might allow global business to return to normal.
Tokyo and Seoul rose while India and Thailand retreated. Markets in Greater China and Australia were closed for holidays.
“Asia is treading cautiously this morning” despite strong U.S. jobs data and Wall Street’s gain, said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report.
On Thursday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.2% on its last trading day before the holiday weekend, closing above 4,000 points for the first time.
Friday’s closely watched U.S. government jobs report showed American employers added 916,000 more jobs than they cut last month. That was well ahead of forecasts of 617,500 and nearly double February’s growth.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.8% to 30,088.75 while the Kospi in Seoul gained 0.2% to 3,117.23.
India’s Sensex opened down 2.4% at 48,799.72. Singapore advanced while Bangkok and Jakarta declined.
Investors have been encouraged by the spread of coronavirus vaccines despite rising infection numbers in the United States, Europe and other places that have prompted some governments to reimpose travel and business curbs.
On Friday, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, or the difference between the market price and the payout at maturity, rose to 1.72% from Thursday’s 1.68%.
The yield has risen sharply this year, drawing money out of stocks, on expectations revived economic activity will cause inflation to rise, reducing the value of the payout in real terms.
Major Asian stock markets rose Friday following the S&P’s record-setting day.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 57 cents to $60.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.29 on Thursday to $61.45. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 64 cents to $64.22 per barrel in London. It gained $2.12 the previous session to $64.86 a barrel.
The dollar was unchanged at 110.63 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1759 from $1.1773.