October 29, 2020

Asia Pacific stocks mixed as uncertainty over U.S. coronavirus relief measures lingers


Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed Wednesday morning as uncertainty remains over the state of coronavirus relief stateside.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.53% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.55%. The moves came after Japanese stocks saw two solid days of gains earlier this week.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.47%.

Meanwhile in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dipped fractionally.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded about 0.1% higher.

Investor focus on Wednesday was likely on coronavirus deal negotiations stateside, as lawmakers remain divided over issues such as unemployment insurance.

“Despite continuing negotiations, talks so far have yet to yield much in the way of progress,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note. Still, Strickland said markets “sniff a deal” given the proximity of the elections in November.

On the economic data front, a private survey of China’s services sector in July is expected, with the Caixin/Markit Services Purchasing Manager’s Index set to be out at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 164.07 points, or 0.6%, to finish the day at 26,828.47 while the S&P 500 advanced a more modest 0.36% and ended at 3,306.51.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.212 after declining from levels above 93.6 seen earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.61 per dollar after touching levels around 106.4 earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7175 following its bounce from levels below $0.71 earlier this week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.36% to $44.27 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.48% to $41.50 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: Caixin/Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN



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