Asia Stocks Edge Higher as Trade Talks, Jobs Eyed: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks saw modest gains Friday as traders awaited news on the U.S. job market and a looming scheduled American tariff hike on Chinese goods. Treasury yields dipped.Shares ground higher in Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney, though gains petered out in Tokyo and Shanghai. U.S. futures were little changed after stocks eked out a small rise Thursday. The dollar held an overnight decline ahead of Friday’s employment report. Oil slipped after OPEC failed to impress traders with what appeared to be a cosmetic revision to output quotas.Investors are waiting for signs the U.S. and China will reach a truce in a dispute that’s led to the biggest volley of tariffs since the 1930s. Equities rebounded after President Donald Trump’s remarks that negotiations were “moving along well,” though gains were briefly capped by a news report that the U.S. and China remained at odds over agricultural purchases.“Things are looking modestly positive, but that can change on a dime,” Michael Reynolds, investment strategy officer at Glenmede Trust Co. “We’re expecting trade to dominate the narrative for the next week and a half as we approach that December 15 deadline.”The U.S. jobs report will offer a gauge on the outlook for spending, with consumers vital to sustaining the U.S. expansion and validate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s view that rates can stay on hold following three cuts. The flip side for investors is that strong payroll gains could also reduce the incentive for the Trump administration to do a deal with China.Here are some key events coming up this week:U.S. Labor Department figures are expected to show Friday that about 183,000 workers were added to nonfarm payrolls last month -- one of the highest forecasts this year -- with the jobless rate holding at 3.6%. Average hourly earnings are projected to grow 3% year-on-year, same as in October.These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksJapan’s Topix Index was little changed as of 12:30 p.m. Tokyo time.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.2%.Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.8%.Hang Seng Index gained 0.7%.Shanghai Composite was little changed.S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% after the the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.2% Thursday.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The euro was flat at $1.1109.The Japanese yen was little changed at 108.71 per dollar.The offshore yuan fell 0.1% to 7.0473.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.80%.Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose three basis points to 1.12%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.3% to $58.27 a barrel.Gold was flat at $1,475 an ounce.To contact the reporters on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at;Cormac Mullen in Tokyo at cmullen9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.