Asian stocks were mixed; market awaits U.S. employment data

Asian stocks were mixed; market awaits U.S. employment data

Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Friday morning. Meanwhile, investors await U.S. employment data even as they resume digesting economic data from the U.S. and China.

Although shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday, markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong dropped. The decline came a day after the Chinese Communist Party marked its centenary with tough talk by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Wall Street on July 1, the benchmark S&P 500 hit a new record in anticipation of a positive U.S. jobs report. It has to be mentioned that recent data have provided encouraging clues of a steady recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic data published on Thursday revealed that the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing PMI was a slightly lower-than-anticipated 60.6 in June. Data also showed that a lower-than-forecast 364,000 initial jobless claims were filed throughout the past week.

Remarkably, mainland Chinese stocks were among the biggest losers regionally as the Shanghai composite declined 1.95% on the day to 3,518.76. Meanwhile, the Shenzhen component sank 2.448% to close at 14,670.71. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.8% to finish the trading day at 28,310.42.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% and hit 28,783.28 on Friday. Additionally, the Topix index increased by 0.88% to 1,956.31. South Korea’s Kospi was slightly changed, inching down less than 0.1% to 3,281.78. Shares in Australia boosted as the S&P/ASX 200 surged 0.59% to close at 7,308.60.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 0.95%. Shares also increased in India and Vietnam.

Economists anticipate non-farm payrolls rose by 706,000 jobs in June

Investors now await the country’s jobs report for June, including non-farm payrolls, due later in the day. The data is anticipated to indicate when the U.S. Federal Reserve could start the asset tapering and interest rate hikes hinted at in June’s policy decision.

Economists anticipate non-farm payrolls rose by 706,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6% from 5.8%.

Moreover, Fitch Solutions forecast in a report that Japan’s economy will begin to recover as increasing numbers of people are vaccinated. Japan’s vaccine rollout pace is almost the same as the rest of Asia’s, with around 10% of the population fully vaccinated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) increased 0.4% to 34,633.53. Meanwhile, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1% to 14,522.38.

Additionally, small-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies increased 0.8% to 2,329.34.

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