Asian shares firmed on Monday while the dollar wavered after the anxiously awaited May U.S. payrolls report showed the recovery on track but not so hot that it might bring forward a policy tapering from the Federal Reserve.
Investors were curious to see how shares of major tech firms would react to the G7’s agreement on a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%, though getting the approval of the whole G20 could be a tall order.
So far, the reaction was muted with both Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures little changed.
Also of interest will be the tussle over U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan with the White House rejecting the latest Republican offer.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3% and looked to break three sessions of losses. Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.0% to touch its highest in almost a month, and South Korea gained 0.7%.
While the 559,000 rise in U.S. payrolls missed forecasts it was still a major relief after April’s shockingly weak report, while the jobless rate at 5.8% showed there was still a long way to go to reach the Fed’s goal of full employment.
“The data was perfect for a goldilocks type outlook for risk: not too hot to bring in fears of a faster Fed taper, and not too cold to worry about the outlook for the recovery,” said NatWest Markets strategist John Briggs.
“This caused a weaker USD, better stocks, reinforced the earlier bid in commodities, and boosted emerging markets.”
Attention will now turn to the U.S. consumer price report on Thursday where the risk is of another high number, though the Fed still argues the spike is transitory.
Briggs suspected Fed officials might open the door to talking about tapering at the June policy meeting, with the start coming in early 2022 and a rate hike not until 2024.
The European Central Bank holds its policy meeting on Thursday and is widely expected to maintain its stimulus measures with tapering a distant prospect.