Asia-Pacific stocks set for mixed start as investors look ahead to private survey on China services activity

Markets
  • A private survey on China's services sector activity in August is set to be released, with the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index expected at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.
  • Australia's retail sales data for July is set to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.
  • The U.S. employment report for August is slated for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked poised for a mixed Friday start as investors look ahead to the release of a private survey on China's services sector activity in August.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,630 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,640. That compared against the Nikkei 225's last close at 28,543.51.

Australian stocks appeared set for a muted open, with the SPI futures contract at 7,479, against the S&P/ASX 200's last close at 7,485.70. Australia's retail sales data for July is set to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

Looking ahead, the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index is expected at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.

In corporate developments, investors will watch Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba following reports that the firm is set to invest 100 billion yuan (about $15.5 billion) by 2025 for "common prosperity."

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Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 131.29 points to 35,443.82 while the S&P 500 advanced 0.28% to 4,536.95. The Nasdaq Composite edged 0.14% higher to 15,331.18.

Those gains on Wall Street came ahead of the U.S. employment report for August, set for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.225 — off levels above 92.7 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.95 per dollar, still stronger than levels around 110.4 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7401 following its climb earlier in the week from below $0.732.

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