Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Friday but was on track for a weekly loss, as investors warily awaited U.S. jobs data later in the session for direction.
The Nikkei finished morning trade up 0.3 percent at 16,300.75 points.
But it looked set for a loss of 1.6 percent for a week marred by disappointment with Japan’s fiscal and monetary stimulus measures and a strengthening yen, which offset some companies’ positive earnings.
“The Nikkei is up today, but there is a feeling of weakness in the market, as investors wait for the U.S. employment data to confirm the strength of the U.S. economy,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. non-farm employment to have risen by 180,000 in July. The report will be released at 1230 GMT.
Expectations of Bank of Japan purchases underpinned Japanese shares. The BOJ bought about 70 billion yen ($691.15 million) of ETFs on Thursday, the first under its expanded ETF purchase scheme.
The central bank announced after its policy meeting a week ago that it would increase ETF purchases so its total holdings increase at an annual pace of 6 trillion yen, up from the previous 3.3 trillion yen. But it stopped short of taking the more aggressive easing steps that many investors had expected.
The government’s 13.5 trillion yen stimulus package unveiled on Tuesday contained no surprises, and gave investors little incentive to push shares higher as the yen rose.
The dollar bought 101.20 yen, not far from a three-week low of 100.68 yen plumbed on Tuesday.
“If said yen appreciates and breaks 100 against the dollar, then that would set up the Nikkei for a test of 16,000,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
“For now, everyone is waiting for the nonfarm payrolls data.”
The broader Topix eked out a 0.1 percent gain to 1,284.00, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at 11,540.97.
The strong yen took a steep toll on Toyota Motor Corp , but its shares still rose 3.6 percent after its results weren’t as bad as many analysts had feared.
Nikon Corp rose 5.1 percent to 1,533 yen a day after it logged a 36 percent rise in group net income.
Terumo Corp’s shares were up 2.9 percent after the medical equipment maker’s April-June operating profit rose 9.8 percent.