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.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.4%, having rallied 2.2% last week. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.1%, while Australia touched a fresh all-time peak.
Chinese blue chips slipped 0.4%, as surveys showed a slight slowdown in factory activity but a pick-up in the giant service sector.
“It feels like a market looking for direction in the face of uncertainty around the interplay between much-feared inflation and much hoped-for growth recovery,” says Patrik Schowitz, global multi-asset 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.”