China industrial production, coronavirus, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia were set to trade higher at the open on Friday, ahead of the release of Chinese economic data expected later in the day.

Futures pointed to a higher open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract was at 20,070 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 20,080. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 19,914.78.

Shares in Australia were also set for a positive start, with the SPI futures contract at 5,353, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,328.70.

On the economic data front, China’s industrial production and fixed asset investment for April is set to be out at around 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN.

The data could provide further clues as to how quickly China, where the first cases of the coronavirus pandemic were reported, has managed to restart its economy following lockdown measures implemented earlier in the year.

Overnight on Wall Street, the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 377.37 points higher at 23,625.34 while the S&P 500 ended its trading day 1.15% higher at 2,852.50. The Nasdaq Composite closer 0.9% higher at 8,943.72. Thursday’s moves stateside, however, still left the major averages on track for their worst weekly performance since March 20. 

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 100.455 after earlier touching levels around 100.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.26 per dollar after weakening from levels around 106.8 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.6469, off highs above $0.654 seen earlier this week.

What’s on tap for Friday:

  • China: Industrial production, fixed asset investment, retail sales data for April at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN

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