Home Business China stocks fall nearly 2%; U.S. jobs report ahead

China stocks fall nearly 2%; U.S. jobs report ahead

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SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Friday trade as investors look ahead to a closely-watched U.S. jobs report set to be released later.

Mainland Chinese stocks were among the biggest losers regionally as the Shanghai composite fell around 1.6% while the Shenzhen component dropped 1.845%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.77%.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan nudged 0.29% higher while the Topix index gained 0.76%. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.11%.

Shares in Australia rose as the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.46%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.77% lower.

Investor focus on Friday will likely be on the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, set to be out on Friday. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls grew by 706,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% from 5.8%, according to Dow Jones.

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

Oil prices rise

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.24% to $76.02 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained about 0.3% to $75.44 per barrel.

U.S. crude futures on Thursday hit their highest level since October 2018, while Brent jumped 2%.

The moves came as a meeting among OPEC and its allies, an energy alliance often called OPEC+, was postponed to Friday. The delay came after the United Arab Emirates objected to a new oil deal, Reuters reported Thursday, citing OPEC+ sources.

“Our bullish tilt on crude oil remains,” analysts at OCBC Treasury Research wrote in a Friday note. “We expect some form of reduced compromise to be ironed out by today.”

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.57 after rising from below 92.1 earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.58 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 110.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7464 following its slip from above $0.755 earlier in the trading week.


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