A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 and New York Dow index at a securities firm in Tokyo…
FILE - A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 and New York Dow index at a securities firm in Tokyo March 27, 2020.

Asian markets finished mixed Thursday as investors braced themselves for the latest unemployment figures from the United States, which are expected to be a record high due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Nikkei in Japan lost 1.3% by the end of the days’ trading session, while Australia’s S&P/ASX index lost nearly 2%.  The news was better from Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong, which gained 2.3%, 1.6% and 0.5%, respectively.   

Across the world in Europe, Britain’s FTSE, the CAC-40 in Paris and Germany’s DAX indexes were all higher during early morning trading.  U.S. futures were also in positive territory Thursday morning, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all trading at or near 2%. Investors are apparently ignoring Wednesday’s big losses on Wall Street, where all three indexes lost well over 4%. 

Financial analysts are expecting Thursday’s jobless claims to soar well above last week’s record, which showed 3.3 million people applying for unemployment benefits.

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