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Japan stocks set to slip as investors await data releases across Asia-Pacific

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan looked set for a lower open on Thursday as investors in Asia-Pacific await a series of data releases regionally.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,930 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,950. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,044.45. Japan’s trade data for April is set to be released at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.

Over in Australia, stocks looked poised to start little changed. The SPI futures contract was at 6,932, as compared with the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,931.70. Australia’s jobs data for April is expected at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

Looking ahead, China’s latest benchmark lending rate is also set to be released, with the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) and five-year LPR expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. Majority of the traders in a snap Reuters poll expected no change to either the one-year or five-year LPR.

Stocks on Wall Street saw a wild session overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 164.62 points lower at 33,896.04 after plunging nearly 600 points at its low of the day. The S&P 500 shed 0.29% to end the trading day at 4,115.68 while the Nasdaq Composite was fractionally lower at 13,299.74.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.191 after a recent bounce from below 90.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.23 per dollar, weaker than levels below 108.8 against the greenback seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7723, weaker than levels above $0.78 seen earlier this week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Japan: Trade data for April at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Australia: Employment change and unemployment rate for April at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • China: One-year loan prime rate and five-year LPR at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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