Asian markets trade lower as traders eye US jobs data

<p>Asian stocks were mostly lower going into the afternoon session as traders await the outcome of US jobs numbers overnight. The MSCI Asia Pacific index […]</p>

Asian stocks were mostly lower going into the afternoon session as traders await the outcome of US jobs numbers overnight. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 0.7% lower after an hour of trade in Tokyo.

The Australian S&P/ASX200 index shed 0.6% in late afternoon trade after trading flat early in the morning session.

The Australian dollar fell below 1.03 against the US dollar mid way through the trading session but remains in an upward trend, sitting comfortably above parity.

Gold is also consolidating its levers above US$1600/oz, last trading at around US$1623/oz.

The market is anticipating an additional 150,000 jobs were added in the US economy last month. Any number below that estimate will no doubt put pressure on equities which have probably held up in anticipation of strong numbers. Applications for jobless benefits have continued to decline from elevated levels in the US, down around 15,000 last month again.

In Asian corporate news, Samsung Electronics – the region’s largest consumer electronics company – reported a strong record quarterly profit on the back of higher sales of mobile phones and data storage products.

Samsung report quarterly profit of around 5.2 trillion won compared with 3 trillion during the same period last year. The reported number was above market consensus estimates which had forecast around 4.6 trillion won.

Meanwhile, US reporting season officially kicks off next week with Alcoa first off the blocks on Monday.

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