* Spreadbetters predict opening gains in Europe
* Friday's U.S. jobs data confirms improvement in labour
* Dollar underpinned by rising U.S. Treasury yields
* China trade data lends support, though import drop is
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, June 9 Asian stocks touched their highest
levels in nearly three years on Monday, basking in the glow of a
record close on Wall Street after bright U.S. jobs data pointed
to improving economic momentum.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100,
Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 each to open
around 0.3 percent higher.
"It's a reasonably quiet week on the economic calendar front
so there's little for traders to get apprehensive about and play
it cautious so we could see the bulls stampede," Capital Spreads
dealer Jonathan Sudaria said in a note to clients, but he warned
markets might be growing frothy.
"It's remarkable how negative traders are feeling about this
rally evidenced by the amount of clients that keep betting
against it and getting short," he said.
The dollar continued to benefit from rising U.S. Treasury
yields, after U.S. jobs data on Friday showed that nonfarm
payrolls increased by 217,000 last month, bringing employment
back to its pre-recession level and validating the view that
labour conditions are improving. The unemployment rate held
steady at a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was up about 0.3 percent, after reaching its
highest levels since July 2011.
Japan's Nikkei stock average advanced 0.4 percent.
On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P
500 ended at new records.
Weekend trade data from China also supported the view of a
recovering global economy, with exports gaining steam last
month. But the same data also contained some cause for concern,
as a surprising drop in imports could herald weaker domestic
China's yuan rose after the People's Bank of China
unexpectedly fixed its daily midpoint surprisingly higher
against the dollar for the second straight session, which in
turn gave a lift to other Asian currencies.
China is slated to release industrial output, retail sales
and fixed-asset investment data on Friday.
RISING U.S. YIELDS HELP GREENBACK
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries stood
at 2.611 percent, up from Friday's U.S. close of 2.597 percent
and well above 11-month lows plumbed last month.
By contrast, Italian, Spanish and Irish bond yields fell to
record lows on Friday, a day after the European Central Bank
unveiled a package of easing steps.
"The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries may need to sustain a
move back above 2.6 percent area to increase the
likelihood of the greenback move through the 102.80 level
against the yen," Marc Chandler, global head of currency
strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, said in a note to clients.
For now, the dollar had to be content with a slight gain on
the day to buy 102.50 yen, getting some help early in the
session from Japanese current account data.
Japan posted a lower-than-expected surplus in April, as
income gains from overseas investments narrowed and the trade
deficit widened. Still, it marked the third consecutive month of
Other data on Monday showed Japan's economy grew 1.6 percent
in January-March from the previous quarter, revised up from a
preliminary 1.5 percent expansion due to faster growth in
The euro also gained on its Japanese counterpart, edging up
slightly to buy 139.85 yen, after earlier testing its
highest levels since mid-May.
Against the greenback, the euro was steady on the day
"The series of measures unveiled by the ECB will not start
having an impact right away. As such, short covering of euro
short positions, which had built up considerably prior to the
ECB meeting, is being covered by participants pocketing
profits," said Shinichiro Kadota, chief Japan FX strategist at
Barclays in Tokyo.
In commodities, U.S. crude gained about 0.2 percent
to $102.89 a barrel, underpinned by the solid jobs report that
pointed to an improving economy and suggested that oil demand
will increase. U.S. crude ended last week almost unchanged.
Brent crude futures edged up 0.1 percent to $108.73,
after dropping 0.7 percent last week.
Spot gold was steady on the day at $1,252.95 an
(Additional reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo; Editing by
Shri Navaratnam & Kim Coghill)