U.S. stocks moderately added gains on Thursday before being closed for a public holiday today and ahead of U.S. data on Average Hourly Earnings, Nonfarm Payrolls and the Unemployment Rate. Yesterday the number of initial jobless claims in the week ending March 28 in the U.S. fell by 20,000 to 260,000 from 288,000 in the previous week, beating expectations for a decline by 3,000. The previous week's figures was revised down from 282,000. The S&P 500 closed 0.35% with a final quote of 2,066.96 points. The DOW JONES index added 0.37%, closing at 17,763.24 points.
Chinese stocks were trading higher and are heading for a fourth week of gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is currently trading 0.77% at 25,275.64 points. China's Shanghai Composite rose to 3,838.07 points currently up 0.32%. Chinese stocks are supported by speculations on further economic stimulus by the Chinese Government.
The Nikkei rose in thin trade on Friday extending yesterday's gains. The index climbed 0.63% to close at 19,435.08.