Most Asian stock markets were trading in the green, including China's Shanghai Composite Index, which was up 0.56% at 2,875.89, on Friday (4 March) at 6.04am GMT. Overall, Asian shares seemed to be on track to post their strongest week in five months because of the recent positive data from the US and a bounce back in commodity prices including oil.
However, investors are concerned over the decision the US Fed could take on an increase in the interest rates. Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said: "Globally, markets are rolling back the extreme risk-off trading they did in January and February. Part of the reason is that the Fed seems to be easing its insistence on raising rates."
The markets could get a further boost if the US employment data for February, which is expected to be released on 4 March, turns out to be positive. Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, said: "We have not yet reached the point where the market internals are highly suggestive of contrarian short positions. But the market is in need of some injection of new news to provide an injection of inspiration and cause a new leg higher. It seems unlikely this inspiration comes from today's US payrolls."
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 4 March at 5.48am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,050.17||Up||0.54%|
Meanwhile, overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 16,943.90, up 0.26%, while the FTSE 100 closed lower by 0.27% at 6,130.46 on 3 March.
Among commodities, oil prices declined despite Venezuela announcing a meeting between oil producing nations later in March to freeze output. However, on 4 March, the commodity saw a rebound. WTI crude oil was trading 0.69% higher at $34.81 (£24.59, €31.79) a barrel, while Brent was up 0.57% at $37.28 a barrel at 5.59am GMT.