Asian stocks fell, with the regional equities benchmark index on course to snap its longest winning streak this year, as investors awaited data on U.S. jobs growth.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.2 percent to 138.81 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets opened in China and Hong Kong. The gauge yesterday capped a seventh straight advance after a private report showed stronger-than-forecaste growth in U.S. employment in March. The government’s monthly jobs data due today will show that hiring increased last month by the most since November, economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg show.
“Barring something out of left field, a nothing sort of day is on the cards ahead of the March U.S. nonfarm payrolls data,” Tony Farnham, a Perth-based analyst at Paterson Securities Ltd., said in an e-mail.
Asian shares are on course for a second week of gains, with Japanese stocks rebounding from last quarter’s slump and Hong Kong equities surging as China outlined economic stimulus plans. The regional measure rose 1.7 percent through yesterday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2.3 percent.
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