Asia shares mixed after US jobs report

HONG KONG - Asian markets were mixed on Friday with profit-taking erasing an earlier rally after the United States said its economy created more than a quarter of a million jobs in June, sending Wall Street to new records.

Tokyo climbed 0.58%, or 88.84 points to finish at 15,437.13 and Sydney added 0.61%, or 33.8 points, to 5,525.0. Seoul ended marginally lower, dipping 1.31 points to 2,009.66.

Shanghai slipped 0.19%, or 3.85 points, to 2,059.38 and in the afternoon Hong Kong was barely unchanged.

Taipei fell 0.17%, or 16.18 points, to 9,510.05 and Wellington gained 0.42%, or 21.51 points, to 5,188.91.

On Thursday the US Labour Department said the world's number one economy added 288,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in May.

The closely-watched figures were well above expectations of 215,000 and add to the sense that a recovery is well on track. They also soothed any lingering concerns some dealers may have had after last month's downgrade of first-quarter economic growth estimates.

Wall Street topped the week off on a high, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting a record for the third straight session. The Dow jumped 0.54% to end above 17,000 for the first time, while the S&P 500 gained 0.55%. The Nasdaq surged 0.63%.

US markets are closed on Friday for the July 4 public holiday.

While investors are cheering the upbeat US news investors will now turn their focus on the release next week of key Chinese data, including trade and inflation.

There are hopes China, the world's number two economy and a key driver of global growth, will be able to add to a recent batch of healthy figures, including Tuesday's indexes of manufacturing activity, which hit their highest levels this year.

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