Asian Equities Climb Before U.S. Jobs Data

Asian stocks rose, after the regional benchmark index closed Thursday at its lowest in a month, as investors awaited U.S. labor data.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 percent to 150.49 as of 9:45 a.m. in Tokyo after ending yesterday at its lowest since April 7. The measure is poised for a 1.6 percent slide this week, its second straight weekly decline.

“There’s very little to drive the markets ahead of the macro data,” said Andrew Sullivan, head of sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. in Hong Kong. “We may see some caution into the close. The wage levels will probably be more closely watched for signs of inflation.”

Japan’s Topix index added 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.6 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index increased 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.1 percent. Markets in Hong Kong and China are yet to open.