Asian stock markets were mostly higher in early trading today, with investors betting that the Federal Reserve will likely announce new plans to stimulate the US economy in response to a disappointing jobs report.
The US government reported on Friday that 96,000 jobs were created in the US last month, fewer than economists had forecast.
That helped lift stocks since investors now think the Fed might announce another round of bond-buying at its next meeting on September 13 to help lower interest rates and thus boost loan growth.
“Risk rallies continued on hopes for further easing from the Fed,” analysts from Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in a market commentary.
“With soft US jobs data, we expect that the FOMC will announce a new large-scale asset purchase programme at the meeting.”
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2% to 8,855.65. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.1% to 1,932.19 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3% to 19,853.54. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, mainland China and New Zealand also rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was nearly unchanged at 4.325.40.