BEIJING — Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as investors waited for U.S. jobs data that might influence when the Federal Reserve starts to wind down its stimulus.
The Shanghai Composite Index CN:SHCOMP rose 0.6% and the Nikkei 225 JP:NIK in Tokyo gained 0.3%. The Hang Seng HK:HSI in Hong Kong advanced 0.2%.
The Kospi KR:180721 in Seoul sank 0.8% and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 AU: XJO lost 0.6%. Benchmark indexes in Singapore SG: STI, Taiwan TW: Y9999, and Indonesia ID: JAKIDX declined.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index added 0.1% on Wednesday, pushed up by gains for tech and communications stocks.
The spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant and anti-disease measures have depressed hiring and consumer confidence. But that has reassured some investors the Fed and other central banks might postpone plans to wind down easy credit and another stimulus that has supported stock prices.
The Labor Department on Friday is due to report U.S. employment data for August. A survey Wednesday by payroll processor ADP showed companies added jobs at a slower pace than expected.
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“This seems to reduce the chances of significant outperformance in the non-farm payrolls ahead and supports the stance that Fed tapering may not come until at least November,” said Yeap Jun Rong of IG in a report.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 SPX rose 1.41 points to 4,524.09. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA fell 0.1% to 35,312.53. The Nasdaq COMP climbed 0.3% to a record 15,309.38.
Economists expect that U.S. employers created 750,000 jobs in August, according to FactSet, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.2%.
The Labor Department data could help to give investors a clearer picture of whether the Fed will decide at its September meeting on a timeline for winding down its $120 billion a month in bond purchases that inject money into the financial system. (Continue reading with Market Watch)