Asia mixed as taper worries, US jobs weigh; Nikkei down 1%

Asia mixed as taper worries, US jobs weigh; Nikkei down 1%

Spiking US yields

The U.S. 10-year yield briefly rose above 3 percent for the first time in two years on Thursday after weekly jobless claims declined to a near five-year low and growth in the services sector rose to its highest level since December 2005.

(Read more: Pro strategies as 10-year nears 3 percent )

The data came a day before the widely-watched employment report on Friday, almost two weeks before the Fed’s September policy-setting meeting.

Nikkei down 1%

Japanese equities fell below the key 14,000 level to further retreat from the previous day’s one-month high as dollar-yen slipped off the key 100 handle in early trade.

Real-estate developers were some of the index’s top losers. Tokyo Tatemono and Tokyu Land fell nearly 4 percent. Meanwhile, index heavyweight Softbank and Fast Retailing decreased 2.5 and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Suntory Beverage & Food rallied 1.5 percent on news that it is in advanced talks to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s Lucozade and Ribena drinks for over $ 1.6 billion.

Tokyo Electric Power fell 2 percent after Japan’s nuclear regulator criticized the operator of the damaged Fukushima power plant, saying it released misleading data about recent leaks of radioactive water.

Shanghai up 0.4%

China’s benchmark index reversed opening losses to cross the 2,132 mark, hitting its highest level since August 16, as sentiment rose on hopes of financial reform.

Brokerages gained after Beijing re-opened its bond futures market on Friday, following an 18 year closure. China Merchants Securities and Haitong Securities added 0.8 percent each. Only a select set of investors, including brokerages and mutual funds, will be able to trade in the market.

Also underpinning gains was news that China’s central bank may speed up the loosening of investment flow controls in and out of the mainland.

Henan Shanghui Invesment, the parent company of Shanghui International, fell 0.7 percent on reports that Shanghui may soon receive U.S. approval for its takeover of Smithfield Foods.

The yuan was flat at 6.12 per dollar after making it to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS)’ top ten list of world’s most tradeable currencies

Sydney eases 0.3%

Australian investors exercised caution before Saturday’s general elections.

“The Australian election looks to be a foregone conclusion; with most major newspapers calling a coalition victory, and should not affect markets materially. It’s the data on Monday that is of most importance with the release of China’s CPI, PPI and trade balance numbers,” said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG.

Gold miners weighed on the index after gold traded near the previous day’s two-week low. Kingsgate Consolidated tanked 8 percent while Newcrest Mining lost over 3 percent.

India slips 0.1%

India’s benchmark index took a breather after rallying over 2 percent to hit a three-week high in the previous session.

Miners and banks dragged on the index. Sesa Goa tanked nearly 5 percent while Coal India lost over 2 percent. Meanwhile, HDFC Bank fell 3 percent after rallying over 6 percent on Thursday.

Seoul at 1,950

South Korea’s benchmark index reversed opening gains to retreat from a three-month high above 1,954 points, hit earlier in the session.

Hyundai Motor rallied over 2 percent after agreeing on a tentative wage deal with its labor union, which could put an end to a series of strikes that has dogged the auto giant since late August.

Hyundai Mobis and Kia Motors also rallied over 2 percent on the news

— By CNBC.com’s Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC

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