Asian stocks outside Japan rose on Monday as investors believed that an unexpectedly weak nonfarm payrolls report will delay interest rate hikes in the U.S.
Released at the end of last week, the United States added 126,000 jobs in March, the weakest since 2013 and below expectations of 245,000 in a Reuters poll. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, in line with expectations, while wages increased slightly more than estimated at 0.3 percent. Equity futures were off about 1 percent on Friday.
The employment report affirms market views that September could be the earliest time frame for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates from record lows, analysts say.
"We do not view faster wage growth as a precondition to Fed tightening, although more rapid wage growth would certainly make the committee's decision easier. We continue to forecast the first rate hike in September," Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital, wrote in a note.
Wall Street was shuttered for the Good Friday holiday last week, alongside major markets in Europe and most parts of Asia. Thinner trade is seen throughout Monday, as Australia and New Zealand remain closed for Easter Monday. Bourses in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are shut for the Ching Ming Festival, while Bangkok celebrates the Chakri Memorial Day.