Asian Stocks Mixed, Investors Wait for Further Fed Tapering Clues By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, as investors await more U.S. employment data for further clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s timeline for asset tapering.

Japan’s inched up 0.03% by 9:50 PM ET (1:50 AM GMT) while South Korea’s was down 0.61%.

In Australia, the fell 0.98%, despite for July. grew 5% and grew 3% month-on-month, while the stood at AUD12.117 billion.

Hong Kong’s gained 0.66%.

China’s was up 0.32% while the inched down 0.10%. Chinese tech stocks listed in the U.S. extended a rebound over hopes that the recent regulatory tightening could ease. The People’s Bank of China also said it would provide CNY300 billion ($46.41 billion) of low-cost funding to support small- and medium-sized firms.

Data from the U.S. released on Wednesday showed the was 374,000, while the was 59.9, in August.

Further data will be released throughout the week, with as well as trade data including , and the , due later in the day. The U.S. jobs report, including , will follow a day later.

Investors continue to assess whether the latest COVID-19 outbreaks involving the Delta variant have peaked and the impact on central bank policies. With global shares near record highs and decreasing market volatility, some investors remained optimistic.

“The market is fading COVID-19 more as a risk in terms of really hampering economic activity. We think the Fed is going to stick with their word and they will start asset tapering later in 2021. But we don’t think they are going to be in any hurry to raise interest rates,” Wells Fargo (NYSE:) Investment Institute head of global asset allocation strategy Tracie McMillion told Bloomberg.

The outlook for the U.S. Treasury market is likely to be one key question, with investor Bill Gross saying that 10-year yields “have nowhere to go but up” and are set to reach 2% over 2022. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:) technical strategist Jason Hunter said that the yield has scope to hit 1.90% in the coming months.

Benchmark were near the 1.30%-mark.

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