SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks looked set for a mixed start on Friday as investors look ahead to a closely-watched U.S. jobs report set to be released later.
Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,780 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,750. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,707.04.
Shares in Australia, on the other hand, looked poised for an opening slip. The SPI futures contract was at 7,205 versus the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,265.60.
Investor focus on Friday will likely be on the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, set to be out on Friday. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls grew by 706,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% from 5.8%, according to Dow Jones.
Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose to yet another record close as it gained 0.52% to 4,319.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 131.02 points to 34,633.53 while the Nasdaq Composite edged 0.13% higher to 14,522.38.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.597 after rising from below 92.1 earlier this week.
The Japanese yen traded at 111.56 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 110.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7465 following its slip from above $0.755 earlier in the trading week.