Asia markets trade higher; RBI rate decision, U.S. jobs report ahead

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Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

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

Out of 63 respondents to a Reuters poll, 26 expect a 50-basis-point hike to 5.4%, while 20 predict a 35-basis-point increase.

“We think optimal policy anchoring will require at least another 50bp hike,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a Friday note. He pointed to underlying inflaton risks and a hakwish Fed.

“All said, it is in the interest … of the RBI to front-load a 50bp than to spare 15bp-25bp but squander macro-stability derived from May/June hikes,” he said.

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 105.858 after a recent drop from about 106.5.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 133.26 per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.6966, after a sharp fall from above $0.7 on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was fractionally higher at $88.62 per barrel, after shedding 2.3% in the previous session.

Brent crude futures gained 0.16% to $94.27 per barrel after ending the Thursday session 2.75% lower at $94.12 a barrel. Both benchmarks touched their lowest levels in months.



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