Asian Equities Higher Before U.S. Jobs

Most Asian stocks rose, paring a weekly decline on the regional index, after a drop in American jobless claims bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy before a government report on employment.

More than three shares climbed for each that retreated on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP), which gained 0.1 percent to 140.18 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets opened in Hong Kong and China. The measure is headed for a 1.2 percent decline this week. The European Central Bank vowed yesterday to increase stimulus efforts if needed, less than one week after the Bank of Japan decided to bolster already-unprecedented easing. The yen held at 115.21 per dollar after falling 0.5 percent yesterday.

The number of Americans filing jobless claims for the first time dropped to a three-week low of 278,000 in the week to Nov. 1, below the 285,000 median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Today’s data may show nonfarm payrolls rose by 235,000 last month, after climbing 248,000 in September, according to the median of 100 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The jobless rate probably held at a six-year low of 5.9 percent in October.


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