Asian Markets In Positive Territory

Asian stock markets are in positive territory on Monday following the gains on Wall Street Friday as much stronger than expected U.S. jobs data for October and renewed optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal boosted risk appetite. The Japanese market is closed for a holiday.

The Australian market is rising following the positive cues from Wall Street. However, banks are lower after Westpac reported a decrease in full-year profit.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 14.40 points or 0.22 percent to 6,683.50, after touching a high of 6,713.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 16.40 points or 0.24 percent to 6,795.50. Australian stocks closed little changed on Friday with a positive bias.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is rising 2 percent, Fortescue Metals is gaining almost 3 percent and Rio Tinto is higher by more than 3 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher after crude oil prices surged on Friday. Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are adding almost 1 percent each, while Santos is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking is declining almost 1 percent, Commonwealth Bank is lower by more than 1 percent and National Australia Bank is losing 3.0 percent.

Westpac reported a 15 percent decrease in its full-year cash profit, cut its dividend for the first time since 2009, and announced a A$2.5 billion capital raising. The company's shares are in a trading halt.

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is declining almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is losing 0.5 percent after safe-haven gold prices edged lower on Friday.

Wattle Health Australia said it has formed a joint venture with Chinese dairy company Nouriz Fine Food Co. to export organic milk powder dairy products into China. The infant formula maker's shares are in a trading halt on Monday ahead of the company's announcement regarding its proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Blend and Pack.

On the economic front, Australia will release September figures for retail sales as well as October data for the job ads monitor from ANZ and the inflation forecast from TD Securities.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6911, up from $0.6905 on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea and Hong Kong are advancing more than 1 percent each, while Taiwan is adding almost 1 percent. Shanghai, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are also higher.

The Japanese market is closed for the 'Culture Day' holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply higher on Friday as much stronger than expected U.S. jobs data washed away concerns about the economic outlook. The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 128,000 jobs in October, compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 89,000 jobs. Renewed optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal added to the positive sentiment, as a report from China's Xinhua News Agency said negotiators have "reached consensus on principles."

The Dow surged up 301.13 points or 1.1 percent to 27,347.36, the Nasdaq soared 94.04 points or 1.1 percent to 8,386.40 and the S&P 500 jumped 29.35 points or 1 percent to 3,066.91.

The major European markets also moved higher on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday as buoyant U.S. jobs data and stronger-than-expected data on Chinese manufacturing activity helped ease concerns about energy demand outlook. WTI crude for December delivery skyrocketed $2.02 or about 3.7 percent to $56.20 a barrel.

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