Asian stocks tread water as traders wait for US jobs report

On Thursday, Asian shares traded mostly weaker, as markets cautiously waited for the issue of American jobs data, which could jolt markets out of their summer malaise.

The Nikkei Stock Average stood still, while the South Korean Kospi sank  0.7%, Australian S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.3%.

Markets keep treading water ahead of American non-farm payroll data tomorrow night.

A recent report from payroll processor ADP, that revealed that private American employers kept hiring at a solid clip in August by generating extra 177,000 workers, spurred hopes for a strong showing in American non-farm payrolls, the next test of the probability of an interest-rate hike.

Traders remain concerned that higher American rates could lead to capital outflows from Asia’s emerging markets, although financial experts tell that the economic fundamentals in the region are still sturdy.

Elsewhere, energy stocks in commodity-reliant economies were heavily affected after the global oil benchmark, Brent crude, hit a three-week minimum.

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