The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 also erased early gains, buoyed by utility stocks, and closed down 0.4 percent.
US stocks drifted lower Thursday morning, a day after the market wrapped up its worst quarter in four years. The Labor Department said employers added just 142,000 jobs in September, way lower than the 200,000 anticipated in the markets. Japan Stimulus Japan’s Topix index gained 0.2 per cent amid low trading volume, with rubber and paper producers climbing. A brighter jobs picture could offer Fed officials reason to raise short-term interest rates later this year.
USA crude futures were up about 1.1 percent at $45.23 a barrel, after a choppy session in which traders monitored the unpredictable path of storm Joaquin, and whether it would strike the New Jersey coast and possibly disrupt refineries there.
The regional benchmark index’s drop Friday trimmed its advance this week to 0.2 per cent with mainland Chinese markets now shut for a week-long holiday.
Though trading was lower 0.3 percent during intraday, MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is still showing 0.7percent gain for the week. China’s box-office revenue surged 34 per cent to $4.7 billion in 2014 from the previous year, making the country the world’s second-largest film market behind the USA, according to consulting firm EntGroup.
The Hong Kong market, which opened after Thursday’s holiday, rallied sharply, with the Hang Seng Index ending 659.79 points or 3.17% higher at 21,506. The euro rose to $1.1204 while the dollar dipped to 119.62 yen. Brent Crude, the worldwide benchmark, slipped 54 cents to $48.51 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.
“US payrolls day has come round again, but amid a still lingering sense that it is global market (and) economic conditions staying the Fed’s hand at present, tonight’s September numbers might not be completely crucial”, National Australia Bank said in a commentary.
Both currencies performed well last quarter, after investors cut risky carry trades funded in both currencies when China devalued its currency and triggered worries about global growth, dragging down stocks and commodities.
Precious and industrial metals settled with small losses.
Experts are projecting that such resilience could soon begin to wear, however – JP Morgan believes residential prices could fall between 5 and 10 percent in the three years to 2018 due to the slowdown marked by falling retail sales and the softening Mainland economy.