China March trade data, coronavirus, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia were set to trade higher at the open on Tuesday ahead of the release of Chinese trade data for March.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 19,280 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 19,100. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 19,043.40.

Shares in Australia were also set to open higher as they returned to trade following holidays on Friday and Monday. The SPI futures contract was at 5,442.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,387.30.

Meanwhile, China’s trade data for March is set to be out on Tuesday morning. It will be watched by investors as the country returns to business following its lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has severely impacted economic activity.

Markets in India are closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell for the first time in three sessions. The 30-stock Dow slipped 328.60 points to close at 23,390.77 while the S&P 500 declined 1% to 2,761.63. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, added 0.5% to close at 8,192.42.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.348 after touching levels above 99.5 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.65 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 108.0 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.6394, still above levels below $0.62 seen last week.

What’s on tap for Tuesday:

  • China: Trade data for March

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