U.S. jobs report, Japan election, currencies

SINGAPORE — Futures in the Asia-Pacific region pointed to a mixed open following better-than-expected jobs data in the U.S.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,815 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,800. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,517.19.

In Australia, SPI futures were at 6,597, lower than the S&P/ASX 200‘s last close at 6,678.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls for June surprised to the upside on Friday, coming in at 372,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s well above the Dow Jones estimate of 250,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged from May at 3.6%.

That jobs report helped to reduce recession fears somewhat, economists said.

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Japan’s ruling coalition is set to increase its majority in the upper house of the country’s parliament, local broadcaster NHK projected. Voters headed to the polls two days after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while campaigning on behalf of the Liberal Democratic Party in the city of Nara.

Elsewhere over the weekend, city officials said nearly all commercial and industrial businesses — including casinos — in Macao will shut for one week from Monday in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19, according to Reuters.

In company news, China imposed fines on several companies, including tech giants Alibaba and Tencent, for not complying with anti-monopoly rules on disclosure of transactions, according to Reuters.

Singapore and Malaysia markets are closed for a holiday on Monday.

Later this week, the U.S. will report inflation data, while China will release its GDP, industrial production and retail sales data. Earnings season also kicks off this week.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 107.009.

The Japanese yen traded at 136.27 per dollar, weaker than levels seen last week. The yen strengthened on news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been shot Friday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6848.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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