Asian markets: Brexit, coronavirus, currencies, oil

SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks rose in Thursday morning trading, with several markets in the region ready to close early on Christmas Eve. Investors also noted developments in Brexit trade deal negotiations.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.87% while the Topix index advanced 0.96%. South Korea’s Kospi also rose 0.76%.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia rose, with the S & P / ASX 200 up 0.55%.

The broader MSCI index for Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan was traded 0.22% above.

Markets in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore are expected to close on Thursday for Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, in Brexit trade negotiations between Britain and the European Union, bond and pound yields increased on Wednesday after reports that a deal was close. Reuters reported that a trade deal was “imminent”, citing a senior EU diplomat, although CNBC could not verify this independently.

The pound sterling was at $ 1.3522, dropping to around $ 1.32 earlier in the week.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% to close at 3,690.01, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended its trading day 114.32 points up at 30,129.83. The Nasdaq Composite closed 0.3% lower at 12,771.11.

The measures came in the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the new US Covid-19 aid package, an act that could delay the distribution of funds to struggling Americans. On Wednesday, Trump also vetoed the comprehensive defense bill that authorizes a $ 740 billion top line in spending and describes Pentagon policy.


The US dollar index, which tracks the US dollar against a basket of its peers, was at 90.413, following levels above 90.8 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.56 per dollar, below levels below 103.2 against the dollar seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7588, out of lows below the $ 0.75 seen earlier in the week.