* Asian shares follow Wall St rally after upbeat US jobs
* Analysts still see Fed maintaining aggressive easing
* Commodities also strong, copper eyed after surge
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, May 6 Asian stocks rose on Monday as
investors gave the thumbs up to an upbeat U.S. labour force
report that sent Wall Street to an all-time closing high last
week, while the dollar held its ground against the yen.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
climbed 0.5 percent with Australia's main share
index more than 1.0 percent higher. South Korean shares
advanced 0.7 percent.
Japanese financial markets are shut on Monday for a public
holiday and will reopen on Tuesday.
The gains came after data on Friday showed U.S. employment
rose at a faster pace than expected in April and hiring was much
stronger than previously thought in the prior two months, a
relief to investors nervous about a U.S. slowdown.
But other U.S. data, including a survey of the vast services
sectors, were less encouraging and led investors to suspect that
the Federal Reserve will probably maintain its aggressive
"We take the April employment report, in conjunction with
other data, as supportive of the Fed keeping its (debt) purchase
programme intact," analysts at Barclays Capital wrote in a note.
"Labour market and inflation trends are soft enough to
reduce the likelihood of tapering, in our view, but steady
enough to keep the Fed from increasing the pace of its
The data helped lift U.S. Treasury yields, which in turn
gave the dollar a boost against the low-yielding yen. Having
rallied more than 1 percent on Friday, the dollar last traded at
99.11 yen, up 0.1 percent on the day. It is within a
hair's breath of a 4-year peak near 100 scaled last month.
Other currencies outperformed the greenback with the
Australian dollar back around $1.0300, well off last
week's low near $1.0220.
The Aussie's immediate fortunes depend on local retail sales
data due at 0130 GMT. Any disappointment could see the market
firm up expectations for a cut in interest rates at the Reserve
Bank of Australia's policy meeting on Tuesday.
A standout this morning was the Malaysian ringgit,
which hit a 20-month high on the greenback after Sunday's
election saw the governing coalition extend its half-century
rule, albeit with its worst-ever performance.
Commodities also added to gains, having powered higher on
Friday in the wake of the U.S. jobs report. U.S. crude rose more
than one percent towards $97.00 a barrel, reaching fresh
Copper is in focus after it stole the limelight with a
6.5-percent rally to $7,270.00 on Friday.
However, to put its move in perspective, copper had fallen
nearly 20 percent in the past three months partly on worries
about a slowing global economy.