SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan were set to trade higher at the open as the first trading day of 2021 kicks off.
Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,500 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,450. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,444.17.
Stocks in Australia rose in early trading, with the S&P/ASX 200 up around 0.8%.
On the economic data front, a private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity is expected to be released on Monday, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December set to out be at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.
China’s official manufacturing PMI released Thursday showed the country’s factory activity expanding in December, albeit at a slower pace compared to November’s reading.
Developments surrounding the coronavirus are likely to continue weighing on investor sentiment, as the pandemic rages on globally while vaccines have started being rolled out in some countries.
In Asia, officials in Japan are pondering whether to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and neighboring areas which have been hit by surging Covid cases, according to Kyodo News. Social distancing measures were also extended by health authorities in South Korea over the weekend, according to local news agency Yonhap, as the country also dealt with a recent jump in infections.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 89.931 following its recent bounce from levels below 89.7.
The Japanese yen traded at 103.30 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 103.5 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7706 following its rise in the previous trading week from levels below $0.765.
What’s on tap:
- China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for December at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN