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Asian Stocks Mixed As Nonfarm Payrolls Loom, US Yields Rise

Asian Stocks Mixed As Nonfarm Payrolls Loom, US Yields Rise

2018-02-02 07:23:00
David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks were mixed as key US labour market data approached
  • The US Dollar was, too, with USD/JPY up but AUD/USD off again
  • The Bank of Japan reportedly offered unlimited long bond buying to keep yields down

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Asian stock markets put in a mixed performance as investors looked toward Friday’s key data release, official US labour-market statistics. A solid rise of 180,000 nonfarm jobs is expected from January’s number, which would be a marked improvement on the 148,000 gain seen in December.

The Nikkei fell by 0.9%, with tech names under some pressure at the same time as investors were reportedly growing more worried about Wall Street’s stability. The ASX 200 did better however, rising by 0.50%. Chinese stocks were in the green with the Kospi lower. Rising US Treasury yields thanks to more strong US economic numbers Thursday reportedly saw some investors leaving equity for the bond market.

The US Dollar was mixed despite those yields, which might have been expected to offer more support. The Australian Dollar slipped as markets looked toward next weeks Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy meeting. It’s the first one of the year and interest rates are widely expected to remain at their current, record low. Inflation also remains subdued, fueling expectations that the RBA may strike a dovish note.

The Japanese Yen slipped against the US Dollar after the Bank of Japan conducted its first direct, special bond-buying operations in more than six-months to keep yields down. The BoJ offered to buy an unlimited amount of lng-dated bonds in this cause, according to a Reuters report.

Cryptocurrency prices continued to slide with Bitcoin under $9,000. Gold prices were steady through Asian hours while oil rose again, still supported by news of strong compliance with OPEC cuts.

Those official US payroll stats are going to dominate the rest of Friday’s trade, as they always do whenever they are on the sked. European action is likely to be subdued by the wait, US proceedings all about the reaction. There are some supporting data releases to this headline act, however. Eurozone producer prices are coming up, as is the UK’s Purchasing Managers Index for the construction sector. US durable goods and factory order levels are also due, as is the University of Michigan’s long-running consumer sentiment roundup.

--- 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.