Asia-Pacific markets mixed as investors await U.S. jobs report

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific struggled for direction in Friday morning trade as investors await the release of a closely watched U.S. jobs report.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.21% while the Topix index sat below the flatline. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.15%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia dipped about 0.1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

Investors will look ahead to the Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN today.

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U.S. jobs report ahead

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 271.58 points to 35,064.25 while the S&P 500 gained 0.6% to 4,429.10. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.78% to 14,895.12.

Those gains came stateside after weekly jobless claims data released Thursday matched expectations. The closely watched July U.S. jobs report is set to be released Friday morning stateside, with a wide range of estimates from economists about what the report will show.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.263 — still above levels below 92 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.78 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.2 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7402, having climbed from around the $0.738 mark yesterday.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.15% to $71.18 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed about 0.1% to $69.04 per barrel.


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