China markets return from holiday to rally alongside Wall Street stocks

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher Friday after U.S. lawmakers temporarily averted a possible government debt default while investors waited for American jobs numbers.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced.

Congress temporarily set aside a dispute over debt on Thursday to extend the government’s borrowing ability into December. Experts say a default would have set back a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal brought “cheer to markets,” Mizuho Bank’s Venkateswaran Lavanya said in a report. However, Lavanya warned, “concerns around the U.S. funding its government have far from dissipated.”

Also Friday, investors were watching for Labor Department employment data they hope will show U.S. employers hired more workers in September. Federal Reserve officials say employment levels are a possible factor in when the U.S. central bank might start rolling back economic stimulus.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.56% rose 0.5% to 3,587.46 as Chinese markets reopened following a five-day holiday. The China CSI 300 index 000300, +1.34% rose 1% to 4,917. The Nikkei 225 NIK, +1.66% in Tokyo jumped 2.2% to 28,275.52 and the Hang Seng HSI, +0.17% in Hong Kong slipped 0.2% to 24,663.

Data showed a private gauge of China’s services sector rebounded strongly in September after a contraction in August.

The Kospi 180721, -0.16% in Seoul slipped 0.1% to 2,955 and the ASX-S&P 200 XJO, +0.87% added 0.7% to 7,307. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index SPX, +0.83% rose 0.8% to 4,399.76 for its third straight daily gain. The index earlier swung between gains and losses of more than 1% for four days due to anxiety about the debt fight in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.98% gained 1% to 34,754.94. The Nasdaq COMP, +1.05% added 152.10 points to 14,654.02.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported the number of people applying for unemployment fell last week.

Investors are watching employment levels as an indicator to when the Fed will trim its monthly bond purchases and other support to the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fed officials responded to a spike in inflation by saying they wanted to be sure a recovery was established before withdrawing support. Stronger employment might add to pressure for prices to rise faster, which investors worry might prompt the Fed and other central banks to wind down stimulus that has boosted stock prices.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude CL00, +1.55% rose $1.11 to $79.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 87 cents on Thursday to $78.30. Brent crude BRN00, +1.39%, the price basis for international oils, advanced $1.06 per barrel to $83.01 in London. It added 87 cents the previous session to $81.95.

The dollar USDJPY, +0.27% rose to 111.84 yen from Thursday’s 111.63 yen. The euro EURUSD, -0.07% advanced to $1.1554 from $1.1550.