Asian stocks rose amid optimism for the U.S. monthly jobs
report, due Friday.
On Thursday, data showed U.S. unemployment claims fell more than
expected last week.
For Friday's jobs report, economists polled by MarketWatch
expect 190,000 jobs were added to the economy in January and the
joblessness level dropped to 6.6% from 6.7%.
Mainland China stocks rose even after HSBC China services
Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 50.7 in January from 50.9 in
December, HSBC Holdings PLC said. That was the lowest level in
nearly 2.5 years. Service providers reported a further expansion of
new orders over the month but this growth was the weakest since
June, HSBC said.
China's current account surplus widened to $49.8 billion in
September-December, compared with a $40.4 billion surplus over
Meanwhile, data also Japanese investors accelerated their pace
of foreign bond sales to the most in four months last week.
Australia's central bank said inflation will likely breach its
target-band by the middle of this year.The central bank now expects
the inflation rate to reach 3.25% by June 2014, compared with a
November forecast of 2.75%.
The central bank in the Philippines left interest rates
unchanged at Thursday's policy meeting. Speaking to CNBC, the
central bank governor said rates would remain on hold as long as
inflation remains manageable.
In ADR news, News Corp (
) says Q2 profit, less items, was $179 million, compared with $178
million a year earlier.
State-run energy firms like Korea Electric Power (
) gained after revealing plans to meet the government's aim for
state-run firms to reduce debt by 2017.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (
) and Mitsubishi Corp. said they will cut around 230 jobs from a
mine in Australia's Queensland state.
Toyota Motor (
) and its local partners sold 85,600 vehicles in China in January,
an 18% increase from a year ago, the company said.
The Nikkei ended up 2.17% at 14,462.41, the Hang Seng up 1% at
21,636.85 and Shanghai up 0.56% at 2,044.5.