Asian stocks opened mixed on Friday following the European Central Bank’s surprise rate cut on Thursday and amid caution ahead of a key U.S. jobs report.
European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi caught markets off guard overnight by cutting interest rates to record low of 0.05 percent and the overnight rate to negative 0.2 percent, further penalizing banks for parking money at the central bank. The ECB also said it would launch a program next month to buy asset-backed securities.
Attention now turns to the U.S. August nonfarm payrolls report due later on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect a figure of around 225,000 nonfarm payrolls following July’s gain of 209,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is seen dropping to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent.