Japan markets set to jump as U.S. markets rally; investors await Australian jobs data

Japan markets were set to jump at the open, following a surge in the U.S. markets overnight as tech stocks rallied.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks, with Nikkei futures traded in Chicago at 23,195 compared to the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,843.96. 

Shares in Australia were set to be relatively unchanged at the open, with the SPI futures contract at 6,130, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200 which last closed at 6,132.00.

Meanwhile, Australia’s jobs data is expected to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. It comes as coronavirus cases surged again in recent weeks in Victoria state. Authorities had to impose a night curfew and tighten restrictions again last week in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, according to Reuters.

In earnings news, Chinese tech giant Tencent reported quarterly earnings after markets close on Wednesday. Gaming boosted overall revenue in the second quarter, while Tencent

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Dollar, U.S. non-farm payrolls data in focus

U.S. dollar banknotes.

Liu Jie | Xinhua via Getty

The dollar nursed losses against major currencies on Friday ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report, which some investors fear could reinforce the view that economic momentum is slowing.

Sentiment has turned against the greenback due to a combination of rising U.S. coronavirus infections, a steady decline in Treasury yields, and a lack of consensus in Washington over additional fiscal stimulus.

Analysts say the dollar will continue to fall, particularly against the euro, the yen and Swiss franc, as expectations for a V-shaped recovery from the coronavirus epidemic fade and investors take a more sanguine view of markets.

“I see further dollar weakness,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“Optimism for an economic recovery is not backed up by the data. Safe-havens are very high, but stocks are also high, which doesn’t make sense. The party

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Economic data, coronavirus, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to trade mixed at the Friday open as investors await several economic data releases for July.

Futures pointed to a mixed start for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,450 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,410. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,418.15.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia were set to slip at the open. The SPI futures contract was at 5,986.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,042.20. The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to release its statement on monetary policy at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

On the economic data front, China’s trade figures for July are set to be out at around 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN. Investors will watch the data for clues to the state of China’s export sector as it looks to recover from the economic hit of the

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Google’s bid for Fitbit investigated by EU amid fears over health data | Science & Tech News

Google’s planned $2.1bn (£1.6bn) takeover of smartwatch maker Fitbit will be investigated by the European Commission.

It comes amid concerns about how health data could strengthen the search engine’s power in online advertising.

EU regulators are worried the deal may give Google an advantage over rivals by having access to data from Fitbit’s fitness trackers that can be used for personalised adverts.

EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager wants to ensure the deal does not distort competition

The commission said: “The data collected via wrist-worn wearable devices appears, at this stage of the commission’s review of the transaction, to be an important advantage in the online advertising markets.

“By increasing the data advantage of Google in the personalisation of the ads it serves via its search engine and displays on other internet pages, it would be more difficult for rivals to match Google’s online advertising services.

“Thus, the transaction would raise

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