Asian equities were mostly lower on Friday ahead of U.S. jobs data, with Hong Kong markets leading the declines as protests entered their eighth day. Trading volumes were light with South Korean, Shanghai and Indian markets shut.
Wall Street shares barely moved overnight on caution ahead of September’s nonfarm payrolls report. Consensus estimates are for the creation of 215,000 jobs against 142,000 in August. In a positive sign ahead of the report, jobless claims released on Thursday unexpectedly fell last week.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) left investors disappointed about its asset purchase program. The ECB left interest rates unchanged at its policy review and said it would begin purchases of asset-backed securities this quarter. However, it failed to reveal the size of the program and provided no hints at the introduction of Federal Reserve-style quantitative easing.
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