KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany’s DAX rose 0.8 percent to 12,446.46 and France’s CAC 40 added 0.4 percent to 5,297.83. London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.3 percent. On Friday, the CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent while the DAX lost 0.1 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.5 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 percent to 3,326.70 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 1.6 percent to 21,824.03. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.9 percent to 31,585.00 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent to 5,996.10. Seoul’s Kospi gained 1 percent to 2,484.12 and India’s Sensex was up 1.3 percent at 33,737.07. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also rose.
WALL STREET: Stocks gained after U.S. Labor Department data showed job creation in February stronger than forecast, while wage increases were below expectations. That helped to dampen inflation concerns that triggered the market’s swoon. The S&P climbed 1.7 percent and the Dow and Nasdaq composite gained 1.8 percent.
TRADE WAR?: China’s commerce minister said Beijing wants to resolve disputes with Washington through negotiations but vowed to defend Chinese interests. Zhong Shan gave no indication Beijing planned to make good on earlier threats to retaliate following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to raise import duties on steel and aluminum. Anxiety in markets has been fueled by the departure of economic adviser Gary Cohn, an opponent of import controls. “The rise of trade hawks in the White House casts a dark shadow over trade in Asia,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “U.S. employment data hit a sweet spot on Friday night. Jobs surged but wage growth moderated, indicating an ideal higher growth, lower inflation scenario,” said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. “Any initial enthusiasm may ease as investors digest further trade war rhetoric.”
NORTH KOREA: U.S. officials said there will be no more conditions imposed on North Korea before a possible meeting of the two nations’ leaders beyond the North’s promise not to resume nuclear testing and missile flights or publicly criticize U.S.-South Korean military exercises. Trump announced last week he agreed to meet the North’s Kim Jong Un by May. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump would “see if he can cut a deal” over the North’s nuclear program. Some members of Congress worry Trump acted impulsively in agreeing to meet before negotiators set goals the leaders could agree to.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 19 cents to $61.84 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.92 on Friday to close at $62.04. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 22 cents to $65.27 per barrel in London. It surged $1.88 the previous session to $65.49.
CURRENCY: The dollar weakened to 106.54 yen from Friday’s 106.81 yen. The euro rose to $1.2330 from $1.2306.