Asian shares and the dollar slipped in early trading on Friday, after mixed U.S. data provided little clarity on the timing of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike ahead of a key U.S. jobs report later in the session.
China’s markets will be closed until Oct. 8 for the National Golden Week holidays. On Thursday, a pair of manufacturing surveys showed persistent weakness in China’s factory sector, although they weren’t as bad as some had feared.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 0.3 percent, but still on track for a weekly gain of 0.7 percent, after a mixed performance on Wall Street as markets soaked up a spate of U.S. data ahead of the jobs report.
Japan’s Nikkei stock index was down 0.8 percent, poised to shed 1.7 percent for the week.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 50.2, its lowest since May 2013 and just below the median forecast in a Reuters poll.
But separate date suggested the labor market was tightening and U.S. construction spending climbed in August to the highest level since 2008, showing the divergence between the improving domestic economy and overseas weakness and underscoring the Fed’s dilemma.