SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets posted modest gains Tuesday as investors treaded cautiously ahead of U.S. and Chinese economic reports later this week.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.5 percent to 15,604.80 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,061.95. Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up 0.2 percent to 24,483.85 while China's benchmark Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 percent to 2,180.52. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.1 percent to 5,570.90. Markets in India, Indonesia and Malaysia were closed for holidays.
EARNINGS: Companies are in the middle of corporate earnings season. Later Tuesday, Japanese carmaker Honda will report its quarterly financial results after the market close. Asian tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. will release their quarterly financial results on Thursday.
ANALYST TAKE: William Leys, sales trader at CMC Markets, said markets were calm before the data storm, forecasting that trading volume would become heavier toward the end of this week. "Caution is the pre-eminent theme across global markets at the moment, as investors anticipate a spate of key economic data due later in the week, amid a backdrop of persistent geopolitical concerns," Leys said in a commentary. "With a variety of weighty announcements looming, the stage is set for an action packed end to the week."
DATA RUSH: On Wednesday, the U.S. will release gross domestic product figures for the April-June quarter. The world's largest economy is expected to pick up after severe cold in the winter dampened growth the previous quarter. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to issue a statement after wrapping up a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. On Thursday, a report on China's manufacturing industry will give investors an update on the health of the world's factory floor. On Friday, the U.S. will release its monthly jobs data. Analysts estimate that the U.S. labor market added between 235,000 and 255,000 jobs in July.
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