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  • Asian equities subdued on caution ahead of US data.  
  • A below-forecast payrolls number would bolster Fed rate cut bets.  

Asian stocks are lacking a clear direction bias this Friday with investors sitting tight ahead of the US non-farm payrolls data, which could influence market expectations for Federal Reserve rate cuts.  

As of writing, Japan’s Nikkei is shedding 0.10% and Australia’s ASX 200 is adding 0.37%. Meanwhile, the the Shanghai Composite index is trading largely unchanged on the day and the Hang Seng and the CSI 300 are down 0.2% each.  

Currency markets are also witnessing little action with the Dollar Index flat lined near 96.75. Gold, however, is up 0.12% at $1,417, having clocked a high of $1,424 earlier today.  

The US non-farm payrolls data, scheduled for release at 12:30 GMT, is expected to show the economy added 140,000 jobs in June, having added just 75,000 jobs in the prior month.  

The average hourly earnings are forecasted to rise 3.2% year-on-year in June, following a 3.1% increase in May.  

A weaker-than-expected figure will likely increase the odds of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Markets are already priced in for at least two rate cuts this year.