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Asian Stocks Firm Up Broadly As US Payroll Numbers Approach

Asian Stocks Firm Up Broadly As US Payroll Numbers Approach

David Cottle, Analyst


Talking Points:

  • Asian stock markets were broadly higher as the week bows out
  • The wait for US nonfarm payroll numbers were as usual the only game in town
  • The Australian Dollar was knocked again by some commentary from a member of its own central bank

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Asian stock markets managed gains across the board Friday thanks to yet another strong US close. Investors also looked with hope towards what’s arguably the key data release in any calendar month- official US employment statistics which are due at 1230 GMT.

Forecasters look for a September increase of around 70,000 nonfarm jobs, well down on more usual levels thanks to the impact of hurricanes which lashed the US over the survey period. An as-expected result could see markets peering through this data, regarding it as spurious, and focusing on this months’ prospects.

The Nikkei 225 was up, 0.3% at the close with Australia’s ASX 200 1% to the good. Mainland Chinese and South Korean markets remained closed for a holiday, as they have been all week.

The US Dollar hit seven-week highs against its major traded counterparts after Congressional lawmakers passed a blueprint pushing President Donald Trump's tax reform plans further along the procedural road, while the Senate Budget Committee approved a resolution for House vote next week. The UK pound came under mounting pressure as investors consider the future of Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of what was seen as a miserable annual conference of her ruling Conservative Party.

The Australian Dollar slipped following a Wall Street Journal report in which Reserve Bank of Australia board member Ian Harper refused to rule out lower interest rates should domestic consumption nosedive. His reported remarks came after this week’s feeble retail sales numbers but they are at odds with current market pricing which sees record-low Australian interest rates on the rise by late next year.

Gold prices were steady through the Asian session but look set for a fourth straight weekly fall. For now riskier assets are in vogue and relative calm on the North Korea nuclear issue has blunted demand for financial havens. Crude oil prices were steady too, off about six cents per barrel.

The remainder of the session is short of heavyweight economic numbers beyond those US employment figures. Canada’s job market will also be under the spotlight but its southern neighbour will hog market attention.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.