The Asian stock markets are looking at a mixed lead on Friday, with caution likely to reign ahead of key U.S. employment data that comes out later in the day.
Lending support was a separate Labor Department report showing a modest drop in jobless claims in the week ended March 31.
That was mitigated by concerns over the situation in Spain and the weaker than expected German industrial production number.
The major U.S. averages ended the session mixed on Thursday. While the NASDAQ rose 12.41 points or 0.4 percent to finish at 3,080.50, the Dow edged down 14.61 points or 0.1 percent to end at 13,060.14 and the S&P 500 slipped 0.88 points or 0.1 percent to 1,398.08.
The major European markets also were mixed on Thursday. The CAC 40 of France climbed by 0.19 percent and the FTSE 100 of the U.K. closed higher by 0.35 percent. The DAX of Germany fell by 0.13 percent and the SMI of Switzerland lost 0.05 percent.
The Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as China's Shanghai Composite surged 1.74 percent, while Indonesia collected 0.78 percent, South Korea's KOSPI gathered 0.50 percent and Singapore added 0.04 percent.
Moving lower, Thailand plunged 1.31 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.95 percent, Australia shed 0.38 percent and Malaysia and New Zealand both lost 0.36 percent.
Many of the regional markets are closed in observance of Good Friday, including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia. In addition, the market in Thailand is closed for Chakri Day.
by RTT Staff Writer
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