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Japan stocks set to trade higher as Wall Street rises to new records overnight; Australian GDP data ahead

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to trade higher at the open following record highs seen overnight on Wall Street.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,885 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,880. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,880.

Shares in Australia were higher in early trade, as the S&P/ASX 200 gained around 0.3%.

Australia’s third-quarter GDP print is expected to be out at around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.

Ahead of that release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7375, after seeing levels below $0.736 yesterday.

Wall Street sees new records

Investor sentiment in Asia-Pacific is likely to be buoyed on Wednesday by the strong gains seen overnight on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 rose 1.1%, to close at 3,662.45 — a new record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite also saw a record close as it jumped 1.3% to 12,355.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 185.28 points end its trading day stateside at 29,823.92.

Sentiment may also get a boost from coronavirus vaccine hopes. Pfizer and BioNTech said Tuesday that they have applied to the European Medicines Agency for conditional marketing authorization of their coronavirus vaccine. If authorization is granted, it could enable use of the vaccine in Europe this month, according to BioNTech.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.185 following a decline earlier this week from levels above 91.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.30 per dollar, off levels below 104.1 against the greenback seen earlier in the trading week.

— CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.


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