Stocks trade mixed ahead of US jobs report

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

Hanai Toru | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asia-Pacific shares were mixed on Friday as investors look ahead to the US jobs report for August, a key indicator before 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 from the same period a year ago, less than the 6.1% predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was flat, while the Topix index was down 0.24%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.62% and the Hang Seng Tech index dropped nearly 1%.

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

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite rose 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 index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.32% lower.

Economists predict that 318,000 jobs were added in August, fewer than the 528,000 jobs added in July, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is forecast to be unchanged at 3.5%.

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

Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.99 points, around 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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