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(Bloomberg) — Asian shares rose on dovish signals from the US and European central banks, with focus on American jobs data due later Friday. The yen extended a rally.

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Stocks gained from Australia to Hong Kong, pushing a regional gauge up for a third day. Mainland Chinese shares fluctuated. The broader rally came after the S&P 500 Index set a record and the Nasdaq 100 jumped 1.6% Thursday. US futures were flat to a tad lower in Asian trading.

The yen strengthened against the dollar for a fourth day, as expectations grew for the Bank of Japan to raise interest rates for the first time since 2007. A dollar index was marginally weaker, while Treasuries steadied after yields dropped Thursday.

The stronger risk appetite came after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a Senate committee Thursday that the central bank is “not far” from confidence needed to ease policy. He said rate reductions “can and will begin” this year, adding that policymakers are well aware of the risks of cutting too late. Meantime, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde indicated that officials may be in a position to loosen policy in June.

“From a global equity perspective, we are seeing real tailwinds for growth stocks,” Jessica Jones, head of Asia for PGIM Investments, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “As investor confidence improves later this year, we think investors will continue to want to allocate to these sectors that will give exposure to structure growth stories like AI and global consumer goods.”

All eyes are on Friday’s key US employment data. The consensus forecast places the number of new jobs added to the US economy at 200,000. However, a dispersion in expectations could trigger volatile trading when the final print is released. For instance, RBC Capital Markets LLC expects 260,000 jobs, while Citigroup Inc predicts 145,000.

“Friday’s jobs data could be a wild one,” said Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income for Natalliance Securities LLC. A wide range of forecasts means the 10-year yield could swing dramatically, he said. “If the number is really good we could be looking at a 3 handle for the 10-year, but if it’s bad then 4.3% could be in the cards,” he said.

Gina Bolvin, president of Bolvin Wealth Management Group, bets the most important item in Friday’s report will indeed be wages — and if they are climbing too quickly. If they are moving up too fast, companies will pass this cost to the end user which is inflationary, she noted.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong proposed life sentences for crimes related to treason and insurrection in a draft security measure officials are seeking to fast-track into legislation.

Oil rose Friday after falling in the previous session as traders weighed the outlook for interest rates and tumult in the Middle East. Gold retreated after a record-breaking rally.

Key Events This Week:

  • Eurozone GDP, Friday

  • US nonfarm payrolls, unemployment, Friday

  • New York Fed President John Williams speaks, Friday

  • ECB Governing Council member Robert Holzmann speaks, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 2:18 p.m. Tokyo time

  • Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.2%

  • Japan’s Topix rose 0.3%

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.1%

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.3%

  • The Shanghai Composite rose 0.1%

  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.2%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed

  • The euro was little changed at $1.0946

  • The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 147.85 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.2002 per dollar


  • Bitcoin fell 0.5% to $67,012.13

  • Ether rose 0.5% to $3,894.01


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 4.08%

  • Japan’s 10-year yield was unchanged at 0.730%

  • Australia’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 3.98%


This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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