Asia Mostly Up Ahead of U.S. Jobs Numbers

Asia markets gained on Friday ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls numbers due later in the day. Investors also watched for developments on the trade front after global markets rallied on the back of news that the U.S. and China could return to the negotiating table next month.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 113.63 points, or 0.5%, to 21,199.57.

Government data showed on Friday that household spending in the country rose for an eighth straight month in July, though the pace of growth was slower than expected. Household expenditure increased 0.8% in July as compared to a year earlier, missing expectations of a 1.1% gain in a median forecast.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.98 against the dollar after weakening from levels below 106.4 in the previous session

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index regained 175.23 points, or 0.7%, to 26,690.76. Ratings agency Fitch downgraded the city from "AA+" to "AA”"on Friday, following a protracted period of unrest that has lasted for months.

ZTE shares surged in Friday trade after Italy’s new government approved Rome’s use of special powers in 5G telecommunication services supply deals between a number of domestic companies and providers including China’s ZTE and Huawei.

Hong Kong-listed shares of ZTE surged 8.78%, as of their final hour of trading, while their Shenzhen-listed counterpart soared 9.27% on the day.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6825 after rising from levels below $0.68 yesterday.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 added 23.19 points, or 0.6%, to 3,948.51

China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that Liu He, the country’s top trade negotiator, spoke by phone with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. They agreed to meet in early October for another round of negotiation, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry. China insiders have also hinted that the upcoming trade talks could lead to a 'breakthrough.'

A U.S. Trade Representative spokesperson confirmed to CNBC the phone call between the two sides but not the October meeting.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index nicked ahead 4.38 points, or 0.2%, to 2,009.13

In Taiwan, the Taiex index advanced 23.71 points, or 0.2%, to 10,780.64

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index lost 2.58 points, or 0.1%, to 3,144.48

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 vaulted 112.32 points, or 1%, to 11,218.99

In Australia, the ASX 200 improved 34.16 points, or 0.5%, to 6,647.33