Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as traders awaited more guidance on the U.S. economic recovery.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo closed 0.5% higher at 27,728.12. The Kospi in South Korea lost 0.1% to 3,277.94, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1% to 26,152.20 in afternoon trading.
The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.3% to 3,465.89. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1% to 7,511.10. Shares tumbled in Singapore but rose in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Employment was in the spotlight. On Wednesday, payroll processor ADP revealed that the U.S. private sector added 330,000 jobs in July, which fell short of analysts’ expectations.
The U.S. Labor Department will release a more comprehensive jobs report on Friday. Economists are projecting that U.S. employers added 700,000 jobs in July, bringing the national unemployment rate down to 5.7% from 5.9%, according to FactSet.
The ADP report “missed expectations by a wide margin,” Yeap Jun Rong of IG said.
“Although there has been no clear correlation between the ADP data and the non-farm payrolls, the slowdown in hiring in the leisure and hospitality sectors seems to draw some concerns on the rise in virus cases in July bringing about some impact,” he said.