Friday, May 6, 2016

Asian shares ends lower ahead of closely watched US jobs report

asian stock, finance, economy

Asian markets are on the down trend on Friday as investors braced for the closely watched U.S. jobs-report that may influence interest rate decisions and the value of the U.S. dollar.

European markets are also expected to open for lower, with financial spreadbetter IG expecting Britain's FTSE 100 to fall 0.2% and Germany's DAX to start the day down 0.4%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.9%, set for a weekly decline of 3.2%, the biggest drop in 12 weeks.

Japan's Nikkei, which resumed trading after being closed for holidays ("Golden Week" national holidays) since Tuesday, lost 0.3% to 16,106.72 as the yen's strength renewed concerns about corporate profits.

China's Shanghai Composite index was down 1.6%, wiping out most gains for the week.

Hong Kong shares retreated 1.2%, that puts their weekly loss to 4.1%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.3% higher to 5,358.60,

Wall Street shares were mixed on Thursday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index's slight 0.02% drop nevertheless sending it to a three-week low. Dow Jones industrial average rose 9.45 points, or less than 0.1%, to 17,660.71.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast Friday's payrolls data will show U.S. employers added 202,000 workers in April following a 215,000 increase in March, with the jobless rate holding at 5.0 percent.

But job-related data published over the past couple of days has been softer than market expectations, casting a shadow on expectations of solid job growth.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 33 cents to $43.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 54 cents on Thursday to $44.32 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 29 cents at $44.72 a barrel in London.

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