Stocks trade mixed ahead of U.S. jobs report

An employee works at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Friday as investors anticipate the U.S. Employment Report for Augusta key indicator ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate decision later this month.

South Korea’s consumer price index rose slower than expected 5.7% in August compared to the same period a year ago, less than the 6.1% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The Nikki 225 in Japan was stable, while the Topix index was down 0.24%. that of Hong Kong Hang Seng Index slid 0.62% and the Hang Seng Tech index fell almost 1%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 recovered from earlier losses to increase slightly.

Mainland China Shanghai composite increased by 0.28% and the Shenzhen Component traded 0.231% higher. The Kospi in South Korea gained 0.26% and the Kosdaq advanced 0.2%.

MSCI’s broadest Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity index was down 0.32%.

Economists predict 318,000 jobs were added in August, down from the 528,000 jobs added in July, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is expected to remain unchanged at 3.5%.

“All the focus today is on payroll later tonight, where the [whisper] figure is for stronger than expected printing, which would add to the argument for a 75 basis point hike in September,” Tapas Strickland, an economist at National Australia Bank, wrote on Friday.

Overnight in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.99 points, or about 0.5%, to 31,656.42. The S&P 500 added 0.3% to 3,966.85, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped about 0.3%, to 11,785.13.

– CNBC’s Patti Domm, Sarah Min and Tanaya Macheel contributed to this report.

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