Asian stock markets higher on US job data

<p>Asian shares were higher today after it was revealed the US added 288,000 jobs in June.</p>

Asian shares were higher today (July 4th) after the US reported positive US job data.

The Nikkei 225 average gained 0.6 per cent to finish at 15,437.13 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1 per cent to 23,546.36.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 per cent and on track for a weekly gain of 1.7 percent.

"The data is driving investors today, and there is no incentive to sell," said KyoyaOkazawa, head of global equities and commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas in Tokyo, quoted by Reuters.

Yesterday's US government's nonfarm payrolls report revealed the world's first economy added 288,000 jobs in June.

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 per cent, its lowest level since September 2008.

The report helped the Dow Jones industrial average close above 17,000 for the first time.

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