Japan stocks set for lower open; data shows China’s industrial profits rose in November

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set for a lower start as the final trading week of 2020 kicks off.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,615 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,630. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,656.61.

Profits at Chinese industrial firms in November rose 15.5% as compared with a year earlier, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics over the weekend.

Meanwhile, shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong will be monitored by investors on Monday. That comes after Chinese regulators ordered Alibaba-affiliate Ant Group to rectify its businesses.

Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed on Monday for a holiday.

In coronavirus developments, the U.S. faces a looming government shutdown as President Donald Trump refused to sign a $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill, passed by both chambers of Congress. Trump has criticized the bill’s $600 direct payments to Americans, demanding $2,000 checks instead.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.257 after declining from levels above 90.4 in recent days.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.53 per dollar after seeing levels below 103.4 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7607 after recovering from a plunge to levels below $0.75 last week.

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