* U.S. adds 204,000 jobs in Oct, sharply above forecast
* Dollar gains against euro and yen
* China's Oct factory output, CPI rise
* Tokyo's Nikkei set to open higher
By Dominic Lau
TOKYO, Nov 11 Asian shares edged away from a
four-week low on Monday, and the dollar rose against the euro
and yen as a surprise surge in U.S. jobs growth signalled the
world's largest economy was on a firmer footing.
U.S. employers added more than 200,000 new jobs to their
payrolls last month, almost twice the amount forecast by
analysts and defying expectations that a partial U.S. government
shutdown would hamper job growth.
The strong data raised the prospect the Federal Reserve may
soon decide to start winding down its $85 billion-a-month
bond-buying programme to prop up the economy.
But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and two other top policymakers
suggested continued support for the U.S. central bank's massive
Adding to the positive sentiment, China's factory output and
investment data pointed to signs of stabilisation in the
economy, though annual inflation climbed to an eight-month high
in October, fuelling market worries about policy tightening.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
added 0.1 percent after shedding 1 percent on
Friday to a four-week low.
Australian shares firmed after the strong Chinese data
because of the two country's heavy trade links. The S&P/ASX 200
index gained 0.3 percent, while the Australian dollar
stabilised at $0.9378, having fallen 0.8 percent in the
The dollar was up 0.2 percent at 99.20 yen, near a
seven-week high of 99.41 yen reached last Thursday, and up 0.1
percent at $1.3352, having gained 0.4 percent on Friday.
Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar
stood at 81.323, not far from a two-month high of 81.482 touched
"The full suite of new data and information balances the
risk more evenly for our call for Fed tapering to begin in
March. Previously it seemed March was the earliest the Fed would
taper owing the weaker hiring trends," analysts at BNP Paribas
wrote in a note.
"However, neither GDP nor employment has slowed as much as
we previously estimated or feared. Yet Fed speakers have
emphasised the need to see an acceleration in hiring, GDP growth
and inflation before it begins to taper its bond-buying
As the yen weakened, Japan's Nikkei futures climbed 1.2
percent, indicating a stronger open for the Nikkei benchmark
after losing 0.8 percent last week.
U.S. S&P E-mini futures held steady after the
Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 1.3 percent on
U.S. Treasury futures were also stable after the
10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose as much as 15 basis
points to a four-week high of 2.763 percent on Friday.
Among commodities, gold was steady at about $1,288 an
ounce, having fallen 1.5 percent to a three-week low on Friday.
U.S. crude prices inched up 0.1 percent to around
$94.7 a barrel, adding to Friday's 0.4 percent rise.