Major Asia indexes opened in the green, taking cues from Wall Street’s banner Friday session despite a mixed jobs report.
Led by a strong performance in financials, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.94 percent, its best trading day for 2017, at 20.071.46, as the S&P 500 rose 0.73 percent to close at 2,297. The Nasdaq composite added 0.54 percent at 5,666.8.
The U.S. financials play was “driven by President Trump’s order to investigate potential easing of bank regulation and changes to the Dodd-Frank,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, referring to the financial reform legislation passed by the Obama administration in 2010 as a response to the 2008 Great Financial Crisis.
The January nonfarm payrolls report showed a smaller-than-expected rise in wages despite the impressive jobs gain, suggesting that the slack in the labor market might keep U.S. inflation in check.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.34 percent in early trade as investors look to the December retail sales release.
The National Australia Bank, one of Australia’s “Big Four” banks, saw shares jump 1.2 percent, after it reported a 1 percent decline in its first-quarter cash profit at A$1.6 billion ($1.23 billion), as costs overtook revenue.
Markets in New Zealand will be shut for a bank holiday. Ahead, the Caixin China services purchasing managers index (PMI) is due.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 opened up 0.8 percent, led strongly by its banking and security components.
Across the Korean strait, the Kospi was up 0.36 percent in early morning trade.
At the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinite block on refugees faced legal setbacks as a federal judge blocked the move with a temporary restraining order on Friday.
A U.S. appeals court denied an emergency appeal from the U.S. Department of Justice to restore the immigration order on Saturday, Trump continued his barrage of Tweet attacks on the federal judge, U.S. District Judge James Robart and the court system.
Trump faced strong global backlash after the immigration ban, which is seen by several as discriminatory towards Muslims.
The dollar index remained below the 100 handle, to trade at 99.727 in early Asian time against a basket of currencies. The dollar has been flailing ever since the Trump administration made its preference known for a weaker dollar.
The energy markets are likely to be focused on the rising tensions between Iran and the U.S., after Washington rolled out new sanctions on Iran for their ballistic missile tests. The latest move will not undo Iran’s historic nuclear deal, although there are risks that the accord could unravel.
The U.S. oil rig count also rose to its highest since October 2015, Baker Hughes data showed, adding concerns about the oil market supply rebalance.