US workers
The US Labor Department is set to release its jobs report for JulyReuters

Most Asian markets were up on 7 August as investors awaited a crucial jobs report from the US.

The Labor Department will release July's employment data for the world's largest economy later in the day, which could provide the clearest sign yet if an interest rate hike is imminent from the Federal Reserve.

Investors on Wall Street were cautious ahead of the release, with all major stock indices closing sharply lower on 6 August.

The Nikkei index added 0.2% to 20,699.92 at mid-day after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) issued an upbeat assessment of the Japanese economy.

After a two-day meeting, the central bank decided to maintain its monetary stimulus programme and reiterated that inflation would accelerate towards the 2% target from the 0.4% rate in June without further easing.

Many analysts expect Japan's economy to shrink in the June quarter as a result of dipping exports and tepid household spending.

"Unless inflation gains a bit more momentum, it'll get harder for the BOJ to reach its goal within its timeframe," Daiwa Securities Group economist Maiko Noguchi told Bloomberg.

Australian stocks suffer

Chinese shares headed higher, with the Shanghai Composite advancing 1.9% to 3731.03, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 0.9% at 24,604.04 points.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 benchmark shed 1.8% to 5,509.70 points, led by losses in the mining and banking sector.

Shares in Australia and New Zealand Banking Group slumped 6.7% after it announced on 6 August that it was raising A$3bn (£1.4bn, €2bn, $2.2bn) by selling shares at a 5% discount in order to meet stricter capital ratio rules.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi index edged down by 0.2% to 2,008.88 points.