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Asia stocks pull ahead in cautious trade as focus shifts to U.S. payrolls

Asian stocks edged up on Friday, thanks to gains on Wall Street, but signs of widening cracks in the global economy curbed risk appetite as markets looked to a key U.S. job report that could determine whether the Federal Reserve cuts rates further.

Investors have been caught out by a set of weak U.S. data this week, including surveys on services and manufacturing sectors, deepening fears the sino-U.S. trade war is starting to hurt growth in the world’s biggest economy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-pacific shares outside japan. miapj0000pus rose 0.4%. Japan’s NIKKEI stock index n225 rose 0.22%, and Australian shares rose 0.54%.

The pan-region Euro stoxx 50 futures stxec1 were up 0.44%, German DAX futures FDXC1 0.33% higher and FTSE futures FFIC1 advanced 0.69%.

U.S. stock futures esc1 tacked on 0.1% on Friday, following a 0.80% increase in the S&P 500 on Wall Street overnight on hopes that future fed rate cuts will support corporate profits.

That sentiment was underscored by a frail performance for world stocks in recent weeks, hurt by political uncertainty in the United Stated and Hong Kong, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, brexit and a drumroll of weak global data.

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