Asian shares on Monday looked set to take cues from Friday’s stateside gains. With few data releases expected during the session, many investors are awaiting earnings releases from regional corporates later in the week.

U.S. markets closed higher on Friday despite jobs data for the month of December coming in below expectations.

Just 148,000 jobs were added in the U.S. last month, according to government data, compared to the 190,000 increase projected in a Reuters poll. Average hourly earnings were higher by 2.5 percent on an annualized basis.

Still, major indexes stateside recorded gains in the last session to cap off a strong start to the year, with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing 2.3 percent last week.

On Friday, the Dow rose 220.74 points to close at 25,295.87, the SP 500 added 0.7 percent to end at 2,743.15 and the Nasdaq composite advanced 0.8 percent to finish the session at 7,136.56.

The first trading week of the year had also seen Asian markets touch multi-year highs. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index hit its highest levels in a decade and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose to levels not seen in 26 years in the last trading day.

In the current session, the SP/ASX 200 edged up 0.11 percent in early trade.

Japanese markets are closed for Coming of Age Day.

Earnings releases from several Japanese corporates are expected toward the end of the week, although Samsung Electronics is set to release its fourth-quarter earnings guidance on Tuesday.

On the currency front, the greenback remained on the back foot against a basket of currencies. The dollar index stood at 92.006 at 6:45 a.m. HK/SIN, which was a tad firmer on the week. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 113.13.

The Australian dollar was mostly steady at $0.7866.

Meanwhile, oil prices slipped in the previous trading session on the back of higher U.S. production after soaring to their highest levels since May 2015 earlier last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate shed 57 cents to settle at $61.44 a barrel and Brent crude futures lost 45 cents to settle at $67.62 a barrel.

News Reporter

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