Asian stocks follow Wall Street up ahead of US jobs update

April 7, 2023  -BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Friday ahead of a U.S. job market update that traders hope might encourage the Federal Reserve to ease off plans for more interest rate hikes.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul gained. Hong Kong and Australian markets were closed for a holiday.

Traders who worry higher interest rates might tip the global economy into recession looked ahead to U.S. government data that are expected to show the job market is cooling. They hope that might prompt the Fed to decide aggressive rate hikes are no longer needed to extinguish inflation.

Other data have “confirmed a clear trend that a labor market slowdown has begun,” said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% to 3,325.92 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 0.2% to 27,512.81. The Kospi in Seoul rose 1.2% to 2,488.24.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.4% on Thursday to 4,105.02 after a U.S. government report showed fewer workers filed for unemployment benefits last week.

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