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Asian stocks: Mixed amid sparse trading conditions, eyes on US NFP

  • MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares stays on the top of 18-months, shares in China mildly weaker.
  • Wall Street closed in positive with benchmark surrounding record highs.
  • Geopolitical risks recede, US employment data awaited for fresh directions.

While following the gains marked by Wall Street at the end of Thursday, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares rallies to the top of 18-months, +0.12% to 701.20, during the pre-European session on Friday. Even so, stocks in China and the Philippines are losing below 1.0% whereas those of India and Japan are marking profits of nearly the same magnitude.

Further, Australia’s ASX 200 marks 0.80% gains by the press time amid hopes of further stimulus from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), especially after the bushfires. Today’s upbeat Aussie Retail Sales also favored the shares’ increase. Moving forward, New Zealand’s NZX 50 registers 0.25% profits as the second-tier employment data, namely the Total Jobs Filled, performed better.

The statements supporting no change in monetary policy by the US Federal Reserve policymakers and receding US-Iran war tension can be considered as positive catalysts that help the markets.

On the other hand, doubts over the phase-two deal between the US and China, coupled with the UK-Canadian allegations that Iran hit a Ukrainian plane that crashed a few days back, confine the market’s risk tone. Also, contributing to the trading lull could be investors’ wait for December month US employment data, mainly the Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP).

Portraying the trading sentiment, the US 10-year treasury yields mark one basis point of gain to 1.87% whereas S&P 500 Futures is up 0.27% to 3,285 by the time of writing.

Market consensus favors no change in the US Hourly Earnings and Unemployment Rate figures of 3.1% and 3.5% respectively but NFP may decline to 164K from 266K prior.

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