Investors are monitoring Covid in China

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks looked set for a muted start on Thursday as investors continue to monitor the Covid situation in China as well as movements in the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,275 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,220. This compares to the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,217.85.

Australian stocks also looked set for a soft start, with the SPI futures contract at 7,570, versus the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,569.20.

Investors will watch for signs of policy support from Chinese authorities as the mainland continues to grapple with its most severe wave of Covid since the initial outbreak in 2020. The strict zero-Covid policy has raised questions about the economic outlook from China.

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Stocks on Wall Street were mixed overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 249.59 points, or 0.71%, to 35,160.79. The S&P 500 fell slightly to 4,459.45 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged, falling 1.22% to around 13,453.07.

Yen watch

the The Japanese yen was trading at 127.93 to the dollar after strengthening from levels above 129 against the greenback yesterday.

Still, the Japanese currency remains weaker from the sub-126 levels seen against the dollar last week.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 100.39 after falling recently from around 101.

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