Asian Stocks Rise First Time in Seven Days on U.S. Jobs

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for its first advance in seven days, as better-than-forecast U.S. payrolls boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy and weakened the yen.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker by market value, gained 1.5 percent in Tokyo. Fujifilm Holdings Corp. rose 2.8 percent after a French Ebola patient recovered following being given the company’s Avigan drug with another experimental treatment. Casino operators Sands China Ltd. and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. rose 6.6 percent in Hong Kong after tourism arrivals jumped in Macau in the past five days.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent to 139.08 as of 6:55 p.m. in Hong Kong, for its biggest advance since Sept. 3. The measure retreated 7 percent from a six-year high in July amid concern Chinese growth is slowing and that the Federal Reserve may increase U.S. interest rates sooner as it ends asset purchases. U.S. employers added 248,000 workers last month, exceeding the 215,000 increase predicted by economists.

“We’ve had good news from the U.S. which should place the market well,” Mark Konyn, Hong Kong-based chief executive officer of Cathay Conning Asset Management Ltd., said on Bloomberg Television. “It’s a critical week for the Hong Kong protests. There’s been a significant shortfall in visitors from the mainland and that clearly has a significant impact on the city’s economy.”

Pro-democracy demonstrations in central Hong Kong thinned after the start of talks with the government, with some roads and schools reopening as tensions eased that police were poised to clear protesters. Civil servants poured back into offices after students removed some barricades in response to an ultimatum from the city’s leader to restore access or face possible police action.

Topix Climbs

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.1, gaining for a second day. Sands China surged after saying advanced booking cancellations have been “minimal,” and that it expects full occupancy from Oct. 1-5. Visitor arrivals from China during the period rose 14 percent from a year earlier, Macau’s tourism office said on its website today. Galaxy jumped 6.6 percent to HK$48.35.

Japan’s Topix index climbed 1.1 percent after the yen tumbled 1.2 percent against the dollar on Oct. 3. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.4 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index slid 0.1 percent. Markets in China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines were shut for holidays.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.3 percent. The U.S. equity benchmark gauge climbed 1.1 percent on Oct. 3 after the jobs data.

The surprisingly powerful surge in hiring pushed unemployment to a six-year low of 5.9 percent in September as the U.S. labor market showed renewed vigor, Labor Department data released on Oct. 3 showed. The nation’s economy “is moving strongly in the right direction,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week” program.

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