Asian markets were little changed in early trading Friday, as investors took a wait-and-see approach after Wall Street rallied late to snap a two-day losing streak.
The major U.S. indexes were down around 1% at one point early Thursday, but pulled out of their respective dives to end the day in positive territory. The Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.1% for its biggest intra-day turnaround since April 2018.
As recent economic data has raised fears of recession, investors apparently were betting on another interest-rate cut by the Fed later this month. The will be closely watching Friday’s Labor Department jobs report for September. Economists polled by MarketWatch predict the U.S. added 147,000 new jobs last month.
“Increased hopes for further interest rate cuts by the Fed look to help stabilize markets into the end of the week,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a report.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.32% was about flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.11% slipped 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.55% was about flat, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.17% , Singapore STI, -0.31% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.38% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.37% rose 0.2%. Markets in mainland China remained closed for a holiday.
Among individual stocks, Central Japan Railway 9022, +3.69% and SoftBank 9984, +0.12% gained in Tokyo trading, while Kobe Steel 5406, -1.56% and Fast Retailing 9983, -0.62% declined. In Hong Kong, property developer Country Garden 2007, +2.77% rose while Sands China 1928, -2.34% and China Mobile 941, -1.14% fell. Samsung Electronics 005930, +0.84% and chip maker SK Hynix 000660, +1.01% advanced in South Korea. In Australia, Virgin Australia VAH, +3.13% and Qantas Airways QAN, +1.11% rose.
On Wall Street, the S&P500 index SPX,