Asia-Pacific stocks set for mixed start ahead of Australia, Japan data


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a mixed start as investors await a slew of regional economic data.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,065 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,000. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,991.89.

Japan’s retail sales data for March is expected to be out at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN.

Stocks in Australia looked poised to dip, with the SPI futures contract at 7,021.0 as compared with the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,033.80. Australia’s inflation data for the first quarter is expected, with the consumer price index set to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

In corporate developments, investors will monitor Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba after the Wall Street Journal reported that China is investigating how founder Jack Ma got speedy approvals for the company’s stock listing last year.

Major indexes on Wall Street were muted overnight stateside. The S&P 500 closed little changed at 4,186.72 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also finished its trading day largely flat at 33,984.93. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.34% to close at 14,090.22.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.909 after seeing levels below 90.9 earlier in the trading week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.74 per dollar, having weakened notably from levels below 108 against the greenback seen earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7768 after yesterday’s decline from around $0.78.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Japan: Retail sales for March at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Australia: Consumer price index for the first quarter at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN



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