Asian stocks mostly down ahead of US jobs report

<p>Investors are looking for clues to possible US Fed rate hike.</p>

Asian stocks were lower today (August 4th) ahead of the US nonfarm payrolls report for August, which is expected to significantly influence the Federal Reserve's decision about when to start raising interest rates.

According to a Reuters survey, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 220,000 jobs in August, following a 215,000 rise in July.

With the mainland Chinese market closed for a second day, investors are focused on the Fed's plans for raising interest rates.

On Wednesday the ADP National Employment Report showed private payrolls increased by 190,000 last month, which was below economists' expectations for a gain of 201,000 jobs, according to Reuters. However, it was up on the 177,000 positions created in July.

A strong job report today would strengthen the case for a September interest rate rise, especially after it emerged the US economy grew significantly more than first estimated in the second quarter of the year, expanding at an annual rate of 3.7 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei fell 2.1 per cent to 17,792.16, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 0.4 per cent to 20,840.61 as trading resumed following a holiday and South Korea's Kospi shed 1.5 per cent to 1,886.04. Australia's ASX 200 edged up 0.2 per cent to 5040.60.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.