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Asia Markets Strong Ahead of US Jobs Report

A woman walks past an electronic board displaying Japan's Nikkei average (top C) and various countries' stock price indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, July 5, 2013.
Asian markets rallied Friday as investors await what is expected to be a positive report on the United States job market.

Trading was strongest in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though most other Asian markets were also finishing in positive territory.

Friday, the U.S. Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report, which is expected to show modest improvement in U.S. hiring.

Surveys by Bloomberg and Dow Jones suggest the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in June, down from 7.6 percent the previous month. That would match a four-year low that was also reached in April.

Earlier this week, U.S. investors were also encouraged by a pair of reports that suggested the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected.

The payroll service company ADP said the number of jobs created in the U.S. economy rose by tens of thousands in June. And the U.S. Labor Department said the number of Americans signing up for unemployment compensation last week dropped by 5,000.