Asian stocks fluctuated, following the biggest three-week advance since 2009, as investors weighed China’s move to cut its economic growth target and a surge in U.S. hiring that boosted optimism in the outlook for the world’s largest economy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 126.31 as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo, after swinging between a gain of 0.3 percent and a loss of less than 0.1 percent. U.S. equities rose on Friday as investors shook off data showing a decline in wages to focus on a surge in hiring that bolstered optimism the economy can weather a global slowdown.
Japan’s Topix index lost 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 0.9 percent, while New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to start trading.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent. The underlying benchmark index for U.S. equities gained 0.3 percent on Friday, led by resources stocks.