Asian Shares Higher Pending U.S. Jobs Report, Fed Decision

TOKYO (AP) -
A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, June 3, 2016. Asian shares were mixed Friday as investors awaited a U.S. jobs report later in the day and action from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the month. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Asian shares rose Friday as investors awaited a U.S. jobs report later in the day and action from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the month.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.5 percent to 16,642.23. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1 percent to 1,983.00. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 20,955.13, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.4 percent to 2,937.09. The S&P/ASX 200 of Australia jumped 0.8 percent to 5,318.90.

Investors are watching for clues on whether the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate at the central bank’s next meeting of policymakers later this month. Many will also are waiting for the U.S. Labor Department’s release of its latest monthly jobs report later Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 48.89 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,838.56. The S&P 500 index added 5.93 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,105.26. The last time it was higher this year was on April 20. The index is now about 1.2 percent below its all-time high set in May last year. The Nasdaq rose 19.11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,971.36. That eclipsed its previous high this year on April 18.

Shares have been hurt recently by the OPEC meeting in Vienna, which ended without any consensus on regulating supplies. That sent crude oil prices lower initially, but they later reversed course.

“On the OPEC front, despite all the headlines, there is no production freeze and no subsequent talk of one,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at APAC OANDA.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 10 cents to $49.27 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 16 cents on Thursday to $49.17 a barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, added 17 cents to $50.21 a barrel in London.

The dollar inched down 108.78 yen from 108.95 yen. The euro fell slightly to $1.1153 from $1.1210.