Asia markets: Technology shares, coronavirus, oil

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were set to trade lower at the Friday open, with technology shares set to be watched after their counterparts stateside saw losses overnight. Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,305 while its counterpart in Osaka was […]

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were set to trade lower at the Friday open, with technology shares set to be watched after their counterparts stateside saw losses overnight.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,305 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,220. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,319.37.

Shares in Australia were also poised to decline. The SPI futures contract was at 5,880.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,883.20.

Tech shares watched

Shares of technology firms regionally will be watched amid renewed pressure seen in stocks of their counterparts on Wall Street. Overnight stateside, the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.3% to close at 10,910.28.The tech-heavy benchmark briefly dipped back into correction territory, down 10% from its all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a four-day winning streak as it slipped 130.40 points, or 0.5%, to end its trading day at 27,901.98. The S&P 500 dropped 0.8%, or 28.48 points, to 3,357.01.

Coronavirus developments

Meanwhile, developments on the coronavirus pandemic could also weigh on investor sentiment. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Europe on Thursday warned of a “very serious situation” unfolding in Europe.

“Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March,” said WHO’s Hans Klug in a press briefing on the situation in the region.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, sat at 92.970 after falling from levels above 93.3 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.73 per dollar, having strengthened from levels above 105.5 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7317, in a trading week that has seen it swinging between levels below $0.729 and above $0.732.

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