By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian stock markets rose Monday, taking cues from U.S. equities’ strong performance at the end of last week, along with accompanying gains for commodities.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +0.70% rose 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.19% climbed 1%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -2.48% rose 0.5% to help lead regional gains.
Malaysia’s FTSE Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was also an outperformer, gaining 3.3% in afternoon trading. The advance came after a decisive result to the nation’s elections, extending the ruling coalition’s lock on power.
The strength for Asian equities came after Wall Street saw some fresh record highs for share indexes on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -4.44% climbing 1%, and the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -4.41% ending 1.1% higher to surpass the 1,600 level.
Helping buoy stocks in the U.S., the government reported better-than-expected April jobs data early Friday.
Sydney-based chief market analyst for CMC Markets, Ric Spooner, said the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data came in at just the right level to cheer global stock investors.
“From the market’s point of view, this is a Goldilocks scenario — good enough to provide reasonable growth in corporate revenues but not strong enough to trigger more than a mild tapering in the [Federal Reserve’s] asset-purchase program,” Spooner said.
Elsewhere, Taiwan’s Taiex improved by 0.4%, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -1.65% traded 0.5% higher.
Bucking the trend, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.09% ended 0.2% lower.
Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
The U.S. jobs numbers also boosted some key commodities futures Friday, which in turn, sent most major Asia resource shares solidly higher on Monday.
Australian miner shares were among the big winners, with BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -2.22% /zigman2/quotes/208108397/lastsale BHP -2.23% up 2.8%, Rio Tinto Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -2.57% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/lastsale RIO -3.05% adding 3.1%, Alumina Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/210515632/delayed AU:AWC -1.37% surging 4.9%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -3.86% /zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed FSUMF +0.50% improving by 5.9%.
Over in Hong Kong, shares of Jiangxi Copper Co. /zigman2/quotes/201668148/delayed HK:358 -1.68% /zigman2/quotes/204256025/delayed JIXAY -9.21% soared 5.2% after an almost 7% rally in copper futures, with the company’s Shanghai shares /zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed CN:600362 -0.48% gaining 3.6%.
Gains for crude oil similarly helped energy names in Hong Kong, where PetroChina Co. /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 -1.76% /zigman2/quotes/205108732/lastsale PTR -1.81% pulled 2.1% higher, and Cnooc Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -1.23% /zigman2/quotes/204964401/lastsale CEO -2.45% rose 1.4%.
Also in the energy space, Sydney-listed Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205368474/delayed AU:KAR +1.03% /zigman2/quotes/207550848/delayed KRNGF +3.70% zoomed 22.6% higher after it said its joint venture in Brazil had made its second significant offshore oil discovery.