Shares trade lower ahead of US jobs report

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

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asia-Pacific shares were mixed on Friday as investors looked ahead to the US jobs report for August, a key indicator ahead of the Federal Reserve̵[ads1]7;s next interest rate decision later this month.

South Korea’s consumer price index rose more slowly 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.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was almost flat at 27,650.84, while the Topix index was down 0.27% at 1,930.17. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.66% in the final hour of trading, and the Hang Seng Tech Index fell 1.28%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.25% at 6,828.70. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.26% to 2,409.41 and the Kosdaq fell 0.31% to 785.88.

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite rose fractionally to 3,186.48 and the Shenzhen component was slightly lower at 11,702.39.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.52% lower.

U.S. crude and Brent oil extended gains in afternoon trade, rising more than 2% each.

Economists forecast 318,000 jobs were added in August, down from the 528,000 jobs added in July, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is estimated to be unchanged at 3.5%.

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

Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.99 points, or about 0.5%, to 31,656.42. The S&P 500 added 0.3% to 3,966.85, and the Nasdaq Composite fell about 0.3% to 11,785.13.

— CNBC’s Patti Domm, Sarah Min and Tanaya Macheel contributed to this report.

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