Asian stocks fell, following a slide in U.S. equities, ahead of a U.S. jobs report that may cement prospects that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as next month.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.2 percent to 140.55 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.2 percent ahead of a monetary policy decision by the Bank of Japan later today.

The Asia Pacific gauge is heading for a third week of decline before the U.S. government’s payrolls report and amid data Thursday that showed jobless claims near a four-decade low. Traders are pricing in a 48 percent probability that the Fed will raise interest rates in September.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge on Thursday slid 0.8 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.3 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 0.9 percent. Markets in Singapore are closed for a holiday.

Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.5 percent and contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland firms listed in the city slipped 0.5 percent in most recent trading.

In Japan, sixteen of 37 economists forecast the central bank won’t expand monetary stimulus at all, the most popular answer in the survey. Twelve expect the bank to add stimulus at its meeting on Oct. 30, unchanged from last month.

Source: Bloomberg