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Asia: Markets begin week with gains after Wall St rally


[HONG KONG] Asian markets rose on Monday as investors tracked a record on Wall Street fuelled by a better-than-expected jump in US jobs, while financials were boosted by Donald Trump's review of trading regulations.

However, the dollar's struggles extended as the employment report also showed tepid wage growth, which chimed with the Federal Reserve's plans to lift interest rates only gradually.

While the week has started on a positive note, investors are on edge as they try to assess how a Trump presidency will affect the global economy following outbursts against trade deals and accusations Japan and China were manipulating their currencies.

New York's main indexes provided a positive lead, with the Dow bouncing back above 20,000 points and the Nasdaq hitting an all-time high after figures showed 227,000 new jobs were created in January.

Tokyo ended the morning session 0.3 per cent higher, while Hong Kong added 0.7 per cent and Shanghai 0.2 percent. Sydney put on 0.1 per cent and Seoul 0.2 per cent while Taipei, Manila and Jakarta also pushed up.

Among the big winners were banks as traders cheered Mr Trump's order to review key reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

The announcement was the first step towards scaling back toughened regulations on the banking industry, with Mr Trump having promised to cut red tape in a bid to help fire the world's top economy further.

In Japan Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rallied more than four per cent, HSBC jumped one per cent in Hong Kong and Sydney-listed National Australia Bank also put on more than one per cent.

On currency markets the dollar continues to face pressure on concerns about Mr Trump, while the soft growth in wages overshadowed the upbeat jobs reading and analysts warned it could fall further.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader, said: "If the US dollar is at risk of a break lower that means the yen, the euro, the Australian dollar, and of course the Mexican peso which has surged recently, could all surge."


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