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Stocks opened on a cautious note in Asia on Monday as investors weighed the impact of a hot US jobs report and an accelerated shift toward reopening of the Chinese economy.

Australian stocks edged higher while US equity futures slipped after the S&P 500 closed fractionally lower on Friday. Contracts for Japanese shares fell while those for Hong Kong’s benchmark rose. 

Oil advanced after OPEC+ left oil production steady, sanctions on Russian crude took effect and China’s loosening of Covid restrictions improved the outlook for demand.

The dollar seesawed in a narrow range against most of its Group-of-10 counterparts. A gauge of the currency’s strength remains near a five-month low. 

Government bond yields in Australia and New Zealand fell after a surge in Treasury 10-year yields fizzled out on Friday. US two-year rates -- which are more sensitive to imminent Fed moves -- remained higher Friday after the US jobs report.

Stronger-than-expected jobs figures prompted traders to increase their wagers on where rates will top out in the current tightening cycle, rather than changing their bets for the size of the increase at the Federal Reserve’s December meeting. Policymakers are still expected to deliver a downshift to a 50 basis points hike at the gathering.

Employers added more jobs than forecast and wages surged by the most in nearly a year. Nonfarm payrolls increased 263,000 in November, while the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. Average hourly earnings rose twice as much as predicted.

Meanwhile, Chinese shares are likely to be boosted Monday after authorities eased some Covid restrictions in Shanghai and Hangzhou following protests against the nation’s stringent policies last week. 

Key events this week:

  • China Caixin services PMI, Monday
  • S&P Global PMI for the Euro zone, Monday
  • US factory orders, durable goods orders, ISM services index, Monday
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde speaks, Monday
  • Australia interest rate decision, Tuesday
  • US trade, Tuesday
  • EIA crude oil inventory report, Wednesday
  • Euro zone GDP, Wednesday
  • US MBA mortgage applications, Wednesday
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde speaks, Thursday
  • US initial jobless claims, Thursday
  • China PPI, aggregate financing, money supply, new yuan loans, Friday
  • US PPI, wholesale inventories, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.2% as of 8:26 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% on Friday
  • Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.2%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.4%
  • Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.2%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%
  • Hang Seng Index futures rose 2.2%

Currencies

  • The euro was little changed at $1.0536
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.1% to 134.50 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan rose 0.3% to 7.0009 per dollar
  • The Australian dollar rose 0.1% to $0.6797

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin was little changed at $17,115.45
  • Ether rose 0.1% to $1,278.58

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 3.49% on Friday
  • Australia’s 10-year yield declined four basis points to 3.35%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4% to $80.28 a barrel
  • Spot gold was little changed

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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