Tokyo, Japan (BBN)– Asian markets were mostly lower, taking their cue from Wall Street where investors were cautious ahead of key jobs data out later in the day.
The July figures could give a strong pointer as to when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates – the first move in nearly a decade, reports BBC.
The central bank meets in mid-September and markets are split between a September or December rise.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.4 per cent to 20,578.52.
Investors awaited the outcome of the Bank of Japan’s two-day policy meeting, at which it is widely expected to maintain its stimulus program.
China bucks trend
Chinese shares opened higher with Shanghai Composite up 1.2 per cent at 3,706.59, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.3 per cent at 24,456.65.
Shares in China Railway Signal & Communication (CRSCC) were up 0.5 per cent on its market debut after the world’s largest builder of rail traffic control systems raised $1.4bn (£902m) for acquisitions, research and expansion.
In Australia, shares headed lower on weaker commodity prices as oil prices continued to slump on concerns of oversupply.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was 1.8 per cent down at 5,508.90, pulled lower by energy shares.
Shares of ANZ were down 6.9 per cent after the lender announced on Thursday that it was raising $2.2bn in a share sale to meet tougher capital ratio rules.
Its third quarter update on earnings also came in below expectations.
In South Korea, the Kospi index was down 0.3 per cent at 2,007.46 points.