Asian stocks up before US jobs data

<p>The US Labor Department is due to release jobless claims tomorrow.</p>

Asian markets were up today (April 2nd) as investors await US jobs data, while oil kept sliding due to Iran and world powers extending talks over the country's nuclear programme.

The US Labor Department is due to release jobless claims after the publication of weak manufacturing data yesterday, renewing speculation about when the Fed will raise interest rates.

US employers probably hired fewer workers in March than the previous month, economists quoted by Bloomberg said before Friday’s payrolls report.

Meanwhile, Chinese shares edged up after China's State Council announced measures to expand the scope of the country's social security fund to allow it to buy more local government debt, investment trusts and shares in state-owned companies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 0.41 per cent to 3,825.78, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.77 per cent up at 25,275.64. Japan's Nikkei rose 1.46 per cent to 19,312.79 on hopes the central bank is buying stocks. The broader Topix index was up 1.7 per cent to close at 1,554.17.

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