Asian stocks outside Japan on Friday declined for a third day as energy companies fell and investors held back from taking riskier bets before the release of US jobs data.
The Philippines outperformed the region as stocks rose to the highest level in nine months.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index fell 0.7 percent to 483.82. The gauge has declined 0.6 percent this week.
A gauge of energy companies fell the most in more than four months as Woodside Petroleum Ltd slid 2.7 percent in Sydney, leading losses.
Crude oil has tumbled more than 6 percent this week.
Equity markets in Japan and South Korea were closed for holidays.
Concerns of a oil supply glut has damped sentiment as expansion of US crude production erased all gains from OPEC’s deal late last year to cut output.
“Investors are likely taking some money off the table ahead of Friday’s [non-farm payrolls], which could serve as a risk event after last month’s drop,” Jingyi Pan, Singapore-based market strategist for IG Asia, said in an e-mail. “Many of the Asian indices were also seen highly elevated, likely leading to cautious trading within markets.”
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday fell 67.7 points, or 0.68 percent, to end the day at a low of 9,899.94. The TAIEX rose 0.3 percent from last week’s 9,872 points.
On Friday Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.8 percent and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8 percent.
In Malaysia, the KLCI Index added 0.2 percent and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.3 percent.
The Philippine Composite Index rose 1.1 percent.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed on Friday, while Thailand’s SET Index fell 0.2 percent and India’s SENSEX lost 0.8 percent.
Additional reporting by CNA
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