Asian Shares Advance Ahead Of U.S. Jobs Data

Asian stocks rose on Friday as investors awaited an update on the U.S. jobs market later in the day for clues on the pace of monetary policy tightening going ahead.

U.S. employment is expected to increase by 250,000 jobs in July after an addition of 372,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.

Chinese shares rallied as tech companies jumped on expectations that the China-Taiwan standoff might increase global chip shortages. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.2 percent to 3,227.03.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished 0.1 percent higher at 20,201.94. Alibaba Group Holdings shares fell 2.2 percent as the e-commerce giant reported flat quarterly revenue growth for the first time since becoming a public company.

Japanese shares rose notably as investors cheered better-than-expected earnings from the likes of Kikkoman Corp. and Nippon Steel. Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing added 1.3 percent after saying it is planning an aggressive growth strategy across North America.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.9 percent to 28,175.87 – extending gains for a third day and closing above the 28,000 psychological level for the first time in nearly two months. The broader Topix settled 0.9 percent higher at 1,947.17.

Seoul stocks extended gains for a third day running on continued foreign buying. The Kospi gained 0.7 percent to close at 2,490.80 on expectations that inflation might soon peak.

Samsung Biologics rose 2.3 percent and Celltrion jumped 4.2 percent after the U.S. government declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.

Australian markets hit a two-month high as strong gains in the mining sector outweighed weakness among energy stocks. Afterpay owner Block slumped 6.2 percent after it reported a slowdown in revenue related to its bitcoin business.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent to 7,015.60, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 0.6 percent higher at 7,250.30.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s NZX-50 Index fluctuated before closing on a flat note ahead of the earnings season.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as U.S.-China tensions simmered, weekly jobless claims ticked up and Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said that the risks of recession have risen.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent to reach a new three-month closing high, while the Dow slipped 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 eased marginally.

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