Asia Shares Look to Extend Rally before U.S. Jobs Test

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Asian shares were trying to extend their recent rally to a third week on Monday in the hope critical U.S. jobs figures show the expected revival in hiring in May and keep the global economic recovery on track.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan added 0.4, having rallied 2.2 last week. Japans Nikkei fell 1.1, while Australia touched a fresh alltime peak.

Chinese blue chips slipped 0.4, as surveys showed a slight slowdown in factory activity but a pickup in the giant service sector.

It feels like a market looking for direction in the face of uncertainty around the interplay between muchfeared inflation and much hopedfor growth recovery, says Patrik Schowitz, global multiasset strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

In this environment, while we continue to reduce risk exposure, we stay long given just how strong growth is likely to stay, as well as the remaining upside to economic and earnings growth expectations.

Markets in the United States and Britain are closed for a holiday, but futures were still trading in Asia with the Nasdaq and SP 500 both ahead by 0.1. EUROSTOXX 50 futures eased 0.2.

The main event of the week will be U.S. payrolls on Friday with median forecasts at 650,000 but the outcome is uncertain following Aprils shockingly weak 266,000 gain.

That April figure was close to 750,000 lower than forecasts, the largest miss in the history of the series.

NatWest Market economist Kevin Cummins noted that even with a rise of…

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