Asian Shares Mostly Lower ahead of US Jobs Report

Shares in Asia-Pacific markets were mostly dropped on Friday ahead of a US jobs report, as traders braced for more aggressive Fed rate hikes, while commodities fell overnight amid fresh China lockdowns.


As of 9.30 a.m. Thai time, the Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 0.22%, while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia fell 0.20%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slipped 0.90%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were flat.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.38% as the country’s consumer price index rose slower than expected — 5.7% in August from the same period a year ago, compared to the 6.1% predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.


The US nonfarm payroll report for August is due on Friday (2 Sep). According to Dow Jones, economists forecasted a net increase of 318,000 jobs in August, which is lower than the 528,000 jobs added in July. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 3.5%.

According to Reuters, investors may not enjoy a strong figure if it supports the Fed’s continued aggressive rate hikes, which may boost the US dollar and trigger a bond sell-off.


Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 145.99 points, or 0.5%, to 31,656.42. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3% to 11,785.13, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3% to 3,966.85.


China city Chengdu announced a lockdown on Thursday as it launched 4 days of citywide Covid-19 testing in bid to battle the outbreak. Chengdu is the largest city to be shut down since Shanghai was closed for two months earlier this year. It was unclear whether the lockdown would be lifted when the major testing operation ended on Sunday.

Bloomberg reported, quoting a trader from Shanghai Dongwu Jiuying Investment Management Co., that investors panicked after hearing about the lockdown in Chengdu due to the potential big impact of the recent moves and Covid flare ups elsewhere in China.