Forex Pros - Asian stock markets were broadly higher on Monday, as speculation the U.S. economic recovery was gathering pace lifted market sentiment, while shares in Japanese power producers performed poorly amid ongoing concerns over the country's nuclear crisis.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 0.8%, South Korea's Kospi Composite added 0.25%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slumped 0.55%.
On Friday, official data showed that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 244,000 in April, well above the 185,000 expected gain, as the private sector posted the strongest employment gain in five years.
The better-than-expected data boosted Japanese exporters, with Sony jumping 2.25%, Panasonic adding 0.9%, while shares in semiconductor manufacturer Elpida Memory rallied 3.2%.
However, shares in Chubu Electric Power, which operates the Hamaoka nuclear plant along Japan's Pacific coast plunged 10.8% after the Japanese government asked the company to shut down three nuclear reactors located close to an earthquake fault-line.
Across the sector, Tokohu Electric Power sank 2.1%, while shares in Kansai Electric Power dropped 2.8%.
In Hong Kong, shares in oil producers led gains after oil prices rebounded from the biggest weekly decline since December 2008.
Oil and gas giant PetroChina saw shares climb 2.2%, shares in CNOOC advanced 1.8%, while China Shenhua Energy saw shares gain 2%.
The outlook for European equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a gain of 0.28%, France's CAC 40 futures rose 0.42%, the FTSE 100 futures pointed to a rise of 0.25%, while Germany's DAX futures indicated an increase of 0.33%.
Later in the day, the euro zone was to publish a report on Sentix investor confidence, while the U.S. had no major data releases scheduled.
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