By JOE McDONALD
AP Business Writer
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed as investors waited Friday for U.S. jobs data that might influence a Federal Reserve decision on when to roll back stimulus after legislators in Washington averted a possible government debt default.
Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced. Hong Kong and Seoul retreated.
Investors were waiting to see whether U.S. hiring in September was strong enough for Fed officials who are discussing when to withdraw bond purchases and other stimulus that is boosting stock prices but say they want a healthy job market.
Friday’s Labor Department data “will decide, in the market’s minds, whether the start of the Fed taper is a done deal for December,” said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,578.35 as Chinese markets reopened following a five-day holiday. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo jumped 1.6% to 28,134.86 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.1% to 24,667.13.
The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.2% to 2,955.55 while Sydney’s ASX-S&P 200 added 0.7% to 7,307.80. India’s Sensex opened up 0.8% at 60,157.35. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.
On Thursday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.8% to 4,399.76 for its third straight daily gain after U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend Washington’s borrowing ability into December. Lack of agreement might have led to a default experts say would set back a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite that, “concerns around the U.S. funding its government have far from dissipated,” Mizuho Bank’s Venkateswaran Lavanya said in a report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1% to 34,754.94. The Nasdaq added 152.10 points to 14,654.02.
Earlier, the S&P 500 swung between gains and losses of more than 1% for four days due to anxiety about the debt fight in Washington.
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported the number of people applying for unemployment fell last week.
Earlier, Fed officials responded to a spike in inflation by saying they wanted to be sure a recovery was established before withdrawing stimulus. Stronger employment might add to pressure for prices to rise faster, which investors worry might prompt the Fed and other central banks to wind down stimulus that has boosted stock prices.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.09 to $79.39 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 87 cents on Thursday to $78.30. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, advanced 99 cents to $82.94 per barrel in London. It added 87 cents the previous session to $81.95.
The dollar rose to 111.89 yen from Thursday’s 111.63 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1554 from $1.1550.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.