Australia markets closed

Asian Markets Mixed Ahead of Release of U.S. Unemployment Data

By Gina Lee

Investing.com - Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday as investors await the release of the weekly U.S. unemployment data later in the day.

Forecasts prepared by Investing.com suggest that as many as 5.25 million Americans claimed unemployment benefits in the past week. Almost 10 million Americans have already been laid off in the preceding two weeks.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.47% by 10:35 PM ET (3:35 AM GMT) as the country began its second day of the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.83% as the Bank of Korea kept its benchmark interest unchanged at 0.75%. This was in line with analyst forecasts prepared by Investing.com.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 led gains as it jumped 1.75%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up by 0.53%. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.54% while the Shenzhen Component was up 0.17%.

Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Hugh Young said in a CNBC interview that the numbers on the unemployment front will likely look “fairly bad.”

“We’ve seen the initial short, sharp rises (in unemployment) and I think as other industries assess the effect on their businesses - even when their businesses are in decent shape - are going to look at cutting out costs more and more. It’s going to be quite brutal, I think, in the months ahead,” he added.

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