Japanese shares higher after strong US jobs numbers

Nikkei stock board Image copyright AFP

Japanese shares enjoyed a strong start to the week, following Friday's strong US jobs figures.

The US economy added a better-than-expected 255,000 jobs in July, fuelling speculation that the Federal Reserve could increase interest rates before the end of the year.

The jobs figures also led to the yen weakening against the dollar, which helped shares in Japanese exporters.

In Tokyo, Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed 2.4% higher at 16,650.57.

Australia's ASX 200 index ended the day up 0.7% at 5,537.84. Shares in the mining sector were bolstered by strengthening iron ore prices, with Rio Tinto up 1.1% and BHP Billiton 2.2% higher.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.6% to 22,494.76 while the mainland Shanghai Composite ended the day 0.9% higher at 3,004.28.

The gains came despite weaker-than-expected Chinese trade figures. The country's exports fell by 4.4% in July compared with a year earlier, which is a slight improvement over June's 4.8% drop but still worse than analysts had been expecting.

Imports were also weaker than estimated, down by 12.5%.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index rose 0.65% to 2,031.12.

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