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Today’s stock market: Asian stocks show a varied performance as investors await crucial U.S. jobs data

Electronic stock board (Via Elena Baker/Getty Images)

Asian stocks showed a mixed performance on Friday following a stable day on Wall Street, with investors awaiting the release of key U.S. jobs data later in the day.

U.S. futures and oil prices saw gains.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.1% to 38,661.04 after data on Friday revealed that household spending in April rose by 0.5% year-on-year. This marks the first increase since February 2023, a significant economic indicator as the country’s central bank prepares for its policy meeting next week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.6% to 18,367.73, while China’s Shanghai Composite index declined 0.4% to 3,036.08. China’s trade data for May showed that exports grew by 7.6% compared to the previous year, exceeding expectations, but imports were weaker than anticipated.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% to 7,853.40, and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.8% to 2,709.63.

Electronic stock board (Via Elena Baker/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the S&P 500 barely moved after reaching an all-time high for the 25th time this year, slipping less than 0.1% to 5,352.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 0.2% to 38,886.17, while the Nasdaq composite fell 0.1% to 17,173.12 after hitting its own record high.

Big Lots saw a sharp decline of 18.2% after reporting a larger-than-expected loss for the latest quarter. The retailer attributed missing sales targets to reduced consumer spending, especially on non-essential items.

Another retailer, Five Below, saw its stock drop by 10.6%. Its profit and revenue for the last quarter fell short of analyst expectations, with CEO Joel Anderson highlighting challenges among the company’s core lower-income customer base despite strong growth from higher-income customers.

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