Asian Stocks Swing as Investors Weigh China Goal, U.S. Jobs Data

Asian stocks fluctuated, following the biggest three-week advance since 2009, as investors weighed China’s move to cut its economic growth target and a surge in U.S. hiring that boosted optimism in the outlook for the world’s largest economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 126.31 as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo, after swinging between a gain of 0.3 percent and a loss of less than 0.1 percent. U.S. equities rose on Friday as investors shook off data showing a decline in wages to focus on a surge in hiring that bolstered optimism the economy can weather a global slowdown.

Japan’s Topix index lost 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 0.9 percent, while New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to start trading.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent. The underlying benchmark index for U.S. equities gained 0.3 percent on Friday, led by resources stocks.

Source: Bloomberg

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Asia Stocks Fall as Investors Weigh China Growth Goal, U.S. Data

Asian stocks fell as China set the lowest economic growth target in more than 15 years and investors assessed American data on jobs and service industries.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent to 145.32 as of 9:04 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure in February posted its biggest monthly advance since September 2013, and traded yesterday at 14.6 times estimated earnings, near an almost two-year high. China’s goal of about 7 percent comes as leaders tackle the side effects of a generation-long expansion that has spurred corruption, debt risks and pollution.

Japan’s Topix index fell 0.1 percent, retreating for a second day from its highest close in seven years. South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.1 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 0.4 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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