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

  • Uber executive out after failing to disclose sexual harassment allegation: report

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK - A top engineering executive at Uber, Amit Singhal, is out five weeks after his hire was announced. According to a report in the tech blog Recode, he failed to disclose that he'd left his previous job at Google because of a sexual harassment allegation. Source
  • Bell Media names Randy Lennox president after Mary Ann Turcke leaves

    Economic CBC News
    Bell Media has named Randy Lennox as its president following the departure of Mary Ann Turcke for a new opportunity with the NFL. Lennox, a former executive at Universal Music Canada, joined the media giant in August 2015 as president of entertainment production and broadcasting. Source
  • Bell Media names Randy Lennox as new president

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - Bell Media has named Randy Lennox as its president following the departure of Mary Ann Turcke for a new opportunity with the NFL. Lennox, a former executive at Universal Music Canada, joined the media giant in August 2015 as president of entertainment production and broadcasting. Source
  • Are loyalty programs even worth it anymore?

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The value of customer loyalty programs is under increased scrutiny by companies and users in the wake of Air Miles' recent reversal of an unpopular expiration policy. The operator of the shopper reward program, LoyaltyOne, angered many members last year with its proposal to void unused Air Miles after five years, only to abandon that plan weeks before it was to take effect. Source
  • Manulife admits fine by money-laundering watchdog Fintrac

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Manulife Financial Corp. confirmed Monday its banking unit was penalized last year after Canada's money-laundering watchdog concluded it failed to report a suspicious transaction and various money transfers. Last year, Fintrac fined the bank $1.15 million, but it withheld the bank's identity, saying it was exercising its discretion to do so. Source
  • B.C. increasing minimum wage to $11.35

    Economic CTV News
    VICTORIA - The minimum wage in British Columbia will rise by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour in mid-September. The ministry says there will be an identical increase of 50 cents to the minimum wage for liquor servers, bringing it to $10.10 per hour in September. Source
  • 5 billion mobile phone users projected for 2017: study

    Economic CTV News
    With populations in Asia on the rise, the number of mobile phones, which stood at 4.8 billion a year ago, should mushroom to 5.7 billion, or three quarters of the world's population, by 2020. The number of mobile phone users globally will surpass five billion by the middle of this year, according to a study released Monday by GSMA, the association of mobile operators. Source
  • Behold the KEYone: Last BlackBerry-designed phone with a physical keyboard

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Fans of BlackBerry's classic physical keyboard will have reason to celebrate when the last product designed in part by the former smartphone leader becomes available in April. The Waterloo, Ont.-based firm played a role in developing the KEYone, named for the return of the QWERTY keyboard that other smartphone designers have mostly long retired. Source
  • Manulife revealed as bank FINTRAC fined $1.15M for anti-money laundering failures

    Economic CBC News
    The head of Canada's top financial crime watchdog is second-guessing his decision last year to withhold the name of a Canadian bank — which CBC Investigates has identified — fined $1.15 million for violating the federal anti-money laundering and terrorist financing act. Source
  • Manulife revealed as bank fined $1.15M for violating anti-money laundering reporting rules

    Economic CBC News
    The head of Canada's top financial crime watchdog is second-guessing his decision last year to withhold the name of a Canadian bank — which CBC Investigates has identified — fined $1.15 million for violating the federal anti-money laundering and terrorist financing act. Source