Asia Pacific stocks mixed ahead of July economic data releases; Korean Air Lines soars on surprise profit

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to release its statement on monetary policy at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.
  • China's trade figures for July are set to be out at around 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN. Investors will watch the data for clues to the state of China's export sector as it looks to recover from the economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Later on Friday morning stateside, the U.S. jobs report for July is expected to be out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists forecast 1.48 million jobs were gained in July, down sharply from the 4.8 million in June, according to Dow Jones.

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed Friday morning as investors await several economic data releases for July.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.15%.

South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.51%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 shedding 0.64%. The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to release its statement on monetary policy at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index hovered above the flatline.

Stocks on the move

In corporate news, shares of Korean Air Lines soared more than 7% in Friday morning trade. The moves came after the airline reported a net profit in the second quarteron the back of strong cargo demand, according to local news agency Yonhap. The positive earnings report came despite the coronavirus pandemic's toll on the global airline industry.

Japanese game maker Nintendo also saw its stock jump more than 4% after the firm on Thursday reported a 428% surge in profits.

Economic data watch

On the economic data front, China's trade figures for July are set to be out at around 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN. Investors will watch the data for clues to the health of China's export sector as it looks to recover from the economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday morning stateside, the U.S. jobs report for July will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are expecting 1.48 million jobs were added in July, down sharply from the 4.8 million in June, according to Dow Jones.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 185.46 points higher, or 0.7%, at 27,386.98. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to end its trading day at 3,349.16 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1% to close at 11,108.07.

The moves on Wall Street came as the Labor Department reported better than expected initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 1. The figure totaled 1.186 million, lower than a Dow Jones estimate of 1.423 million and the lowest claims level since the pandemic began.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.819 after sliding from levels above 93.6 this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.56 per dollar after seeing levels around 106.4 against the greenback earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7234 following a bounce from below the $0.72 mark yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asian trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 0.2% to $45.18 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also added 0.29% to $42.07 per barrel.

Here's a look at what's on tap:

  • Australia: Statement on monetary policy at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • China: Trade data for July at 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN
  • U.S.: July jobs report at 9:30 a.m. ET

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