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Asia-Pacific Shares Rise ahead of US Job Data

On Friday, shares in Asia-Pacific got a boost, as investors were keeping an eye out for the release of the jobs data in the US for the previous month. There was also a holiday in some of the prominent regional markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. Amongst the major markets that were operational, it was Japanese stocks that led the gains, as there was a 1.27% increase in the Nikkei 225, which reached 27,761.57. This was primarily brought on by the 5.86% rise in shares of Fast Retailing. There was also a 0.35% increase in the Topixindex, as it reached 1,933.14.

The South Korean Kospi also raked in gains of about 0.44%, which brought it to about 2,670.65. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia closed the day’s session at 7,238.80, which brought its gains to about 0.88%. The broadest index of the MSCI of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan also recorded gains of about 0.51%. Market economists said that it was not incorrect to assume that the bearish sentiment seen in the markets may have reached its peak. Moreover, it is not out of the norm to see bouts of optimism surface even in a bearish market.

On Thursday, an agreement was reached between OPEC and its partners to increase the crude production for the months of July and August, as the global energy markets are suffering from the impact of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia. Asian trading hours saw oil prices come down during the afternoon trading session. As far as Brent crude futures are concerned, they were trading at a price of $117.59 a barrel that brought them below the flatline. Meanwhile, there was a 0.6% decline in US crude futures, as they fell to $116.75 a barrel. Energy experts said that there was a lot of skepticism surrounding the decision of OPEC.

This is because despite giving production a boost, it is not going to bring much change in the big picture in the long run. There is just not enough capacity available to increase the actual production by a lot. As far as Wall Street is concerned, it saw all three of its prominent indexes end their two-day losing streaks overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 1.33% or 435.05 points, while the S&P 500 increased 1.84%. The Nasdaq Composite, which is dominated by tech, also rose 2.69%. With US job data scheduled to be published on Friday, economics expect the number of jobs to decline by almost 100,000 and reach 328,000 for May.

The week has been a volatile one for the US dollar index, as it has gone above 102.4 and below 101.6 in the same week. The Japanese yen also weakened against the US dollar, as it was trading at $129.92, even though it had reached $128 against the greenback in the same week. The Australian dollar, on the other hand, saw a jump and reached $0.7252, after it had gone to $0.721.

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