Asia markets: Coronavirus, oil and currencies

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to trade higher at the open following and overnight surge on Wall Street. Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,545 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,490. That compared against the Nikkei […]

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to trade higher at the open following and overnight surge on Wall Street.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,545 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,490. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,422.82.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia rose in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 up about 0.8%.

Investors will continue watching for developments on U.S. stimulus support, after President Donald Trump tweeted support for aid to airlines and other stimulus measures. That was in contrast to Tuesday, when he said the White House is halting stimulus negotiations with the Democrats.

“Piecemeal US fiscal stimulus doesn’t supplant the need for a more comprehensive stimulus package,” Kim Mundy, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note. “The absence of further fiscal support amid growing infections risks putting the US economic recovery in reverse.”

Meanwhile, on the virus treatment front, Eli Lilly said it’s seeking clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of its Covid-19 antibody treatment.

Overnight stateside, shares on Wall Street soared amid hopes that a smaller aid package could be passed by lawmakers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 530.70 points higher, or 1.9%, at 28,303.46 The S&P 500 jumped 1.7% to finish its trading day at 3,419.45 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.9% to close at 11,364.60.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.63 after seeing levels around 93.9 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.95 per dollar after weakening from levels below 105.6 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7135 following its decline from levels above $0.716 this week.

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