Asian stocks rally; markets eyeing US job numbers

<p>Asian stocks rallied hard in late afternoon trading ahead of the all important U.S. jobs print out tonight. Consensus market estimates going in to the […]</p>

Asian stocks rallied hard in late afternoon trading ahead of the all important U.S. jobs print out tonight. Consensus market estimates going in to the reading are for payrolls to have risen by 95,000 in October, following a 103,000 rise in September. The jobless rate is expected to remain stagnant at 9.1%, perhaps enough to prompt the US Federal Reserve into more money printing. 

The MSCI Asia Pacific index firmed by around 2.2% at noon in Tokyo with further gains towards late afternoon. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.3% as it resumed trading following a holiday yesterday. South Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 2.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 2.6% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increased 3.20 percent, driven by resource stocks which had come under pressure throughout the week. 

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its cut its economic growth forecasts today, as well as inflation estimates, for the next two years as financial turmoil abroad makes businesses more reluctant to hire and consumers wary about spending. 

The RBA sees 4% GDP growth the 12 months to June 30, 2012, down from its August estimate of 4.5%. Inflation will rise 2% over the period – towards the midpoint range of the RBA’s target 2-3% band – down from a previous prediction of 2.5% .

 

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