Australia retail sales, Japan markets, currencies

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were set to trade mixed at the open, as investors await the release of Australia’s retail sales figures for August.

Futures pointed to a higher open for stocks in Japan, with the Tokyo Stock Exchange expected to return online after a halting of trade on Thursday following a hardware glitch. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,360 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,330. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,185.12.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia looked set to dip. The SPI futures contract was at 5,841.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,872.90.

Australia’s retail sales data for August are set to be released at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Friday.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and India are closed on Friday for holidays.

Overnight stateside, stocks on Wall Street closed higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 35.20 points, or 0.1%, to 27,816.90. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% 17.80 points, to 3,380.80, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.4% to 11,326.51.

The limited movement in stocks on Wall Street came as investors watched for developments on coronavirus stimulus talks, with a deal remaining elusive following another day of discussions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.711 after sliding from levels above 94.4 this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.56 per dollar, in a trading week that has seen it at levels below 105.4 and above 105.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7181, following its ascent this week from levels below $0.707.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Retail sales data for August at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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