Tokyo (Reuters): Asian shares rose on Monday, taking their cue from gains on Wall Street after strong US job data, though the mood was cautious as oil prices plunged to 3 1/2-month lows on fresh worries of oversupply.
A confluence of major events this week including an expected interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, a potentially divisive election in the Netherlands and a Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers' meeting kept many investors on edge .
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.6 percent, led by gains in tech-heavy South Korean shares .KS11 and Taiwanese shares .TWII.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 edged 0.2 percent higher, with exporters' shares buoyed by a weaker yen. Global stocks rose on Friday, with the MSCI's index of 46 markets .MIWD00000PUS gaining 0.5 percent, snapping six straight days of losses after the robust U.S. jobs report.
Strong U.S. jobs data all but sealed the chance of a rate increase by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. "The markets are focusing on when the Fed will raise rates next time or the pace of its rate hike, so the tone of Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be closely watched," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
US interest rate futures are pricing in about a 50 percent chance of another rate hike in June. By the end of 2017, a total of nearly three hikes were fully priced in, including the likely move in March.
In a poll of primary dealers, twelve of the 23 dealers saw a rate increase to 1.00-1.25 percent by the June 13-14 meeting, while 10 expected such a move by the Fed's September meeting. The 10-year US Treasuries yield slipped a tad on Friday partly as markets had already expected strong payroll figures. Still, it last stood at 2.584 percent, not far from its two-year high of 2.641 percent touched on Dec 15.