Asian stocks listless ahead of U.S. jobs report

HONG KONG - Asian stock markets were uneven on Friday as investors awaited U.S. job numbers that could influence how far the Fed raises interest rates this year.

See Full Article

Japanese shares sagged on the strengthening yen.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.5 per cent to 16,791.56 as the dollar weakened against the yen, hurting shares of the country's export producers. South Korea's Kospi was flat at 1,916.16, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.4 per cent to 19,262.40 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China lost 0.3 per cent to 2,770.44. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.9 per cent to 4,936.70. Benchmarks in Southeast Asia rose. Trading volumes in Asia will be muted as many exchanges shut for all or part of the Lunar New Year holiday next week.

JANUARY JOBS: All eyes are on the U.S. government's employment report for last month, which will be released later Friday after Asian markets have closed. Analysts expect a solid 200,000 jobs to be added, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 5 per cent. However, weaker than expected figures would add to other downbeat economic data that's been piling up in recent days, including contracting U.S. and Chinese factory activity and a disappointing U.S. service sector index. Taken together, it could all be used to support the case for the Fed putting off further interest rate hikes, a prospect that's already helped push down the dollar.

ANALYST VIEW: "Concerns around global growth, particularly about China and the U.S., are likely to linger so it remains premature to say we have seen the low for shares," Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney, said in a report. "In particular, a weaker U.S. dollar will be of no help if it's due to a slumping U.S. economy."

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks closed modestly higher on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 per cent to 16,416.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.2 per cent to 1,915.45 and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 per cent to 4,509.56.

ENERGY: Oil futures were steady after the wild swings of recent days. Benchmark U.S. crude was flat at $31.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil prices, added 15 cents to $34.51 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 116.82 yen from 116.96 yen in the previous day's trading, bringing its loss for the week to 3.6 per cent. The euro eased to $1.1194 from $1.1199, its highest in more than three months.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Sobeys to sell refugee chocolatier's bars and boxes nationwide

    Economic CTV News
    A chocolate company founded by a Syrian refugee family in Antigonish, N.S. will soon be selling its products nationwide through Sobeys. After the Hadhad family’s Damascus chocolate factory was destroyed in a 2012 bombing, they fled to Lebanon where they spent three years in a refugee camp. Source
  • Alberta appeals court ruling ordering province to pay $2M over beer subsidy

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta has served notice it will appeal a court ruling ordering the province to pay just over $2 million to two out-of-province breweries over a disputed beer subsidy. The government filed the notice in Court of Queen's Bench on Monday. Source
  • Twitter suspended 58 million accounts in fourth quarter

    Economic CBC News
    Twitter suspended at least 58 million user accounts in the final three months of 2017, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. The figure highlights the company's newly aggressive stance against malicious or suspicious accounts in the wake of Russian disinformation efforts during the 2016 U.S. Source
  • Owner of Las Vegas casino where shooter stayed sues survivors of gun massacre

    Economic CBC News
    MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas. Source
  • Owner of Las Vegas casino sues survivors of gun massacre

    Economic CBC News
    MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas. Source
  • NAACP lifts travel advisory against American Airlines

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The NAACP is lifting its travel advisory against American Airlines, saying the company is making improvements that address worries about African-Americans being subject to discrimination or even unsafe conditions while flying. NAACP President Derrick Johnson made the announcement at the NAACP's national convention in San Antonio, Texas. Source
  • A founder of WestJet and JetBlue commits to order 60 A220s for new U.S. airline

    Economic CBC News
    David Neeleman, one of the founders of WestJet Airlines Ltd. and JetBlue Airways Corp., has committed to buy 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft for a new U.S. airline he's launching. A memorandum of understanding for the aircraft which was developed by Bombardier Inc. Source
  • Netflix shares plunge as streaming company sees 'hiccup' in subscriber growth

    Economic CBC News
    Netflix stocks fell more than 14 per cent Tuesday after the company announced it added fewer subscribers in the second quarter than analysts were expecting. The company also downgraded its expectations for the third quarter, but analysts are calling the results a hiccup and say the company remains a compelling investment opportunity in the long run. Source
  • Salt miners in Goderich, Ont., vote to end 12-week strike

    Economic CTV News
    GODERICH, Ont. -- Workers at a salt mine in Goderich, Ont., have accepted a new collective agreement, ending a 12-week strike. Unifor says members of Local 16-O voted Monday to accept the agreement with their employer, Compass Minerals. Source
  • U.S. and Canadian stocks creep higher at late-morning, loonie lower

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Canada's main stock index crept higher in late-morning trading, while the loonie moved lower compared with the U.S. dollar. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 3.35 points to 16,498.08, after 90 minutes of trading. Source