Asia shares look to rally for third week, focus on U.S. jobs

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A man wearing a facial mask, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, stands in front of an electric board showing Nikkei (top in C) and other countries stock index outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Asian shares edged higher on Monday, looking to extend their recent rally to a third week should U.S. jobs figures show the expected revival in hiring in May and keep the global recovery on track.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was a fraction firmer, having rallied 2.2% last week. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) was flat, while Australia (.AXJO) rose 0.2% to a fresh all-time peak.

Markets in the U.S. and UK are closed for a holiday, but futures were still trading in Asia with the Nasdaq up 0.2% and S&P 500 ahead by 0.1%.

The main event of the week will be U.S. payrolls on Friday with median forecasts at 650,000 but the outcome…

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