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Taiwan stocks shake off China’s military drills to rise 2%; Asia shares trade higher

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SINGAPORE — Futures in Asia-Pacific pointed to a lower open Friday as China conducts military exercises around Taiwan.

On the economic front, investors are looking out for a Reserve Bank of Australia statement on monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate decision and a U.S. jobs report later in the day.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,900 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,860. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,932.2.

Japan Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Chinese missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone and called the military drills a “serious problem,” according to an NBC News report.

SPI futures in Australia were at 6,891, lower than the S&P/ASX 200‘s last close at 6,974.9.

The RBA is set to release its statement on monetary policy Friday.

“Of particular interest will be the interest rate levels assumed in the forecasts. We suspect a cash rate of 3% will feature,” ANZ Research said in a note.

The Reserve Bank of India will announce its interest rate decision later as well.

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 85.68 points, or 0.26%, to 32,726.82. The S&P 500 was about flat at 4,151.94 at the close. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.41% to 12,720.58.

Friday’s jobs report is expected to show that 258,000 jobs were added in the U.S. last month, according to Dow Jones economist estimates. That’s fewer than the 372,000 added in June.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 105.693 after a recent drop from about 106.5.

The Japanese yen strengthened slightly to change hands at 132.66 per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.6968, climbing higher after a sharp fall from above $0.7 on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.7% to $87.92 per barrel early on Friday, continuing its fall after shedding 2.3% in the previous session.

Brent crude futures ended 2.75% lower at $94.12 a barrel on Thursday. Both benchmarks touched their lowest levels in months.

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