Asia stocks rise ahead of U.S. jobs data.

on Dec 6, 2019
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  • stocks in Asian rose ahead of the US jobs data for November expected later today.
  • Friday's data showed October household expenditure in Japan dropping 5.1% year-on-year in real terms
  • Oil prices largely remained the same in the afternoon of Asian trading hours.

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On Friday, stocks in Asian rose ahead of the US jobs data for November expected later today.

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Mainland Chinese stocks were higher on Friday, with the Shenzhen composite component adding 0.81% to 9,878.62. The Shenzhen composite also advancing 0.821% to about 1,640.33.

The Shanghai Composite rose 0.43% to around 2,912.01.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.07% to close at 26,498.37. Shares of Chinese tech juggernauts Alibaba and Tencent jumped 2.65% and 1.7%, respectively.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.23% to close at 23,354.40.

Topix index ended its trading day 0.11% higher at 1,713.36. 

Friday’s data showed October household expenditure in Japan dropping 5.1% year-on-year in real terms, after a hike in sales tax that took place in that month.

In South Korea, the Kospi added 1.02% to close at 2,081.85 as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker S.K. Hynix jumped 1.82% and 2.28%, respectively.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia edged higher on the day, as the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.36% to 6,707.00.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 0.56% higher.

The Sino-US trade front

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According to the Reuters report on Friday, China’s finance minister said China would waive import tariffs for certain soybeans and pork shipments from the US. However, he did not provide further details.

Markets have experienced a rocky Dec amid conflicting headlines on the China-US trade front, and closely watching the Dec 15, when additional US tariff on Chinese goods take effect.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US and China were still disagreeing over the size of China’s agricultural purchase.

Meanwhile, China has given a glimpse into the progress of trade negotiations.

Earlier in the week, markets went into a frenzy when the US President Trump said the deal may delay until after the Nov 2020 US Presidential election.

I think the markets are taking consolation that at least this is not escalating and trade talks have not broken down, talks are still going on and there’s still hope,” Vasu Menon told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Friday.

Vasu Menon is the executive director of investment strategy at Singapore’s OCBC Bank.  

Still, Menon acknowledged that “clearly there are disagreements” between the two countries. Be it the U.S. demands for China to purchase more U.S. agricultural products or China’s desire to see Washington roll back tariffs.

Currencies and oil

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The U.S. dollar index was last at 97.374 after slipping from levels above 98.0 earlier in the trading week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.64 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 108.8 yesterday. 

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6842 after rising from levels below $0.678 earlier in the week.

Oil prices largely remained the same in the afternoon of Asian trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures hovered around the flatline at $63.40 per barrel.

U.S. crude futures were largely flat at $58.42 per barrel.

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