Asia-Pacific stocks muted; Australia's trade data for June ahead


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were relatively muted in Thursday morning trade, following declines overnight on Wall Street that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 300 points.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.15% in early trade while the Topix index was largely flat. South Korea’s Kospi edged around 0.1% higher.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was little changed. Australia’s trade data for June is set to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded around the flatline.

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Overnight stateside, the Dow dropped 323.73 points to 34,792.67 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.46% to 4,402.66. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed as it rose 0.13% to 14,780.53.

The moves on Wall Street came after jobs data from payroll processing firm ADP came in well below expectations. The ADP private payroll survey showed a gain of 330,000 jobs for July, well below the consensus estimate of 653,000. The more closely watched Labor Department nonfarm payrolls release is set to be out on Friday.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.28 following a recent bounce from below 92.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.51 per dollar following a weakening yesterday from levels below 109 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7381, still higher than levels below $0.735 seen earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were little changed in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures flat at $70.38 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced slightly to $68.18 per barrel.



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