Asia Pacific stocks set for muted open as Wall Street snaps winning streak

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Stocks in Asia Pacific were higher on Friday as investors awaited the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report expected later in the day stateside.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.74% to close at 22,863.73 while the Topix index added 0.54% to end its trading day at 1,612.48. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.43% to close at 2,181.87 as shares of LG Chem surged 3.95%.

Mainland Chinese stocks gained on the day. The Shanghai composite rose 0.4% to about 2,930.80 while the Shenzhen component added 0.371% to approximately 11,180.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.66%, as of its final hour of trading, with shares of HSBC jumping about 3.2%.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.12% higher at 5,998.70.

Airline stocks regionally surged. In Japan, shares of Japan Airlines skyrocketed 9.74% while ANA Holdings jumped 7.06%. Similar gains were seen in South Korea, where Korean Air Lines soared 7.57% while Asiana Airlines gained 4.87%.

In Hong Kong, China Southern Airlines jumped 10.43% in afternoon trade. Shares of Singapore Airlines in Singapore, however, dipped 0.68%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.86%.

Developments on economic stimulus as countries attempt to recover from the coronavirus pandemic likely continued to be watched. The European Central Bank on Thursday said it will increase in its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme by 600 billion euros.

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