Mixed morning for Asian markets ahead of US jobs report

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets are a mixed bad this morning as investors await the release of US payrolls later in the session.

Economists estimate the US will report the biggest increase in non-farm payrolls since November last year, reports Bloomberg.

The survey of 94 economists forecasts that 218,000 workers were added to payrolls in April. US economic data has been varied this week.

GDP growth reached just 0.1 per cent on an annualised basis. Economists had forecast a rise of a little over one per cent. The disappointing growth figures were blamed on poor weather seen in the first part of the year.

However, consumer spending recorded the biggest increase for over four years. The Fed announced that it would continue to cut its bond buying programme by a further $10bn (£5.9bn), falling to $45bn next month.

Japan's unemployment rate remained unchanged in March, but the ongoing rise in job vacancies points to further declines in the jobless rate in coming months.

Meanwhile, overall household spending leapt 10.7 per cent month-on-month in March, following a 1.7 per cent drop in the previous month.

Japanese sentiment was downbeat as the prospect of further stimulus by the Bank of Japan became evermore distant.

The Nikkei is down 0.4 per cent, while the Topix has retreated 0.3 per cent. South Korea's Kospi has fallen 0.1 per cent, while markets in mainland China remain closed.