Asian stock market: Trades mixed amid cautious optimism, Nikkei 225, ASX 200 print mild losses

  • Shares in Asia-Pacific struggle for firm direction as hopes of further stimulus confront coronavirus woes.
  • Sino-American tussle, a light calendar adds to traders’ worries.
  • BOK announces SPV details, China plans further investment and virus numbers from Tokyo refresh record high.

Asian equities alternate gains with losses during a dull session ahead of the European morning on Friday. While hopes of further stimulus allow some at the floor to recover the previous day’s losses, fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and China’s tussle with the West challenge the market sentiment.

As a result, the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, register 0.60% gains, following almost 2.0% losses of Thursday, whereas Japan’s Nikkei drops 0.40% to 22,695 by the press time. Further, Australia’s ASX 200 remains almost flat around 6010. Though, New Zealand’s NZX 50 bucks the trend with 0.70% gains Business NZ PMI data for the nation jumped from 35.6 forecast to 56.3.

South Korea’s KOSPI rises 0.67% to 2,198 as Bank of Korea (BOK) set up 8 trillion won as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) fund. Moving on, Indian equities also cheer the hopes of recovery and further government measures to combat the pandemic while stocks in China fail to portray any clear direction even if a government official defied Thursday’s fall as a signal of further weakness in blue-chip shares.

The recent headlines suggest that Tokyo’s pandemic numbers rose 293 from the previous record of 284. Elsewhere, Wall Street Journal cites increasing odds of the Trump administration’s further pressure on China while Politico suggests that US President Donald Trump is seeking payroll tax cut in the next relief bill.

Amid these plays, US 10-year Treasury yields seesaw around 0.613% while S&P 500 Futures gain 0.22% to 3,201 as we write.

Considering the lack of major data/events, global markets may witness a peaceful day with fewer moves ahead of the US session that could follow Michigan Consumer Sentiment data for fresh impulse.

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