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Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed as investors await U.S. job report

Stocks continued to struggle for direction amid slow late-summer trading, as investors paused following strong gains this year and ahead of the U.S. employment report due later Friday.

Asia-Pacific equities started with a modest downbeat tone, with country-specific issues weighing on Japanese and Australian stocks.

The Nikkei NIK, -0.38% fell 0.4%, with the dollar falling below ¥110 to a seven-week low in earlier trading. Meanwhile, bond yields saw fresh declines overnight after the Bank of England cut economic forecasts, potentially ending the prospect of higher interest rates in the U.K. this year. A stronger domestic currency and higher bond prices are pressure points for exporters and insurers, which are index heavyweights in Japan.

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