Asia shares mixed ahead of US jobs data

Asia shares mixed ahead of US jobs data

HONG KONG - Asian shares were mixed on Thursday as investors brushed off another record close on Wall Street ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting and the release of closely watched US jobs data.

The euro faced further selling pressure on expectations the ECB will further cut interest rates at its Thursday meeting and unveil other monetary easing measures to fend off deflation and support the economy.

Tokyo pared most morning gains to end flat, edging up 11.41 points to 15,079.37, while Seoul fell 0.65 per cent, or 13.08 points, to 1,995.48 and Sydney slid 0.15 per cent, or 7.93 points, to close at 5,436.90.

Shanghai gained 0.79 per cent, or 16.05 points, to 2,040.88 and Hong Kong slipped 0.18 per cent, or 42.05 points, to 23,109.66.

US shares ticked up on Wednesday after broadly upbeat data. The Institute for Supply Management said activity in the services sector, accounting for 80 per cent of the US economy, surged in May.

Also, the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" report said all 12 districts of the country saw increasing economic activity in recent weeks. That compares with April's report, which showed two districts' activity decline.

However, payrolls company ADP said the US private sector created a net 179,000 new jobs in May, its lowest level in four months.

The S&P 500 rose 0.18 per cent to end at another record high, while the Dow edged up 0.07 per cent and the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 0.41 per cent.

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