SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to rise on Wednesday, as markets in the U.S. were lifted on the back of stronger-than-expected retail sales data.
The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago and its counterpart in Osaka both sat at 29,870 — higher than the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,808.12.
Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was subdued in early trade, edging down 0.2%.
In earnings, Chinese tech giant Baidu is set to announce its third-quarter results later on Wednesday.
U.S. stocks, which were in a rut in recent days after touching records earlier this month, were given a boost by retail sales data. The latest retail sales figures for October showed consumers were increasing their spending, with sales jumping 1.7% compared to a 0.8% increase in the prior month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 54.77 points, or 0.15%, to 36,142.22. The S&P 500 gained 0.39% to 4,700.90, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.76% to 15,973.86.
“The strength in the US economic activity, combined with the above‑target inflation, might increase pressure on the [Federal Open Market Committee] to quicken the pace of its tapering of asset purchases,” the Commonwealth Bank of Australia wrote in a note on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.915, jumping from levels above 95.5 earlier.