Japan leads gains as Asia stocks rise ahead of U.S. jobs data

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Friday morning trade following gains overnight on Wall Street. Investors will also be looking ahead to the release of U.S. jobs data for May.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.96% as shares of Fast Retailing soared close to 6%. The Topix index rose 0.12%.

The Kospi in South Korea edged 0.26% higher, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.72%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.46% higher.

“It is premature, if not incorrect, to suggest that the bearish sentiment in markets may have peaked. We have argued, in our daily and ad-hoc publications, that bouts of optimism in a bear market are par for the course,” Lavanya Venkateswaran, an economist at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a Friday note.

Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are closed on Friday for a holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the three major indexes stateside snapped two-day losing streaks. The S&P 500 jumped 1.84% to 4,176.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 435.05 points, or 1.33%, to 33,248.28. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.69% to 12,316.90.

U.S. jobs data for May is set to be out at 8:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones see 328,000 jobs added in May, a 100,000 decline from April.

OPEC+ hikes output

OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed Thursday to hike output in July and August by a larger-than-expected amount as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roils global energy markets.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping fractionally to $117.54 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.13% to $116.72 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.706 following a volatile week so far that has seen it going at points from below 101.6 to above 102.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 129.81 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 128 seen against the greenback earlier this week, The Australian dollar was at $0.7257 after a recent jump from below $0.721.

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