Asian shares will admire barely after Wall Road closes

Posted by Jessica DiNapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks were set for cautious gains on Friday after positive US economic data and signs of progress in Washington business talks raised Wall Street benchmarks.

"The opening tone in Asian trading will be positively influenced," said Tom Piotrowski, market analyst at the Australian broker CommSec. "But regional investors will not necessarily hang up this result, the markets can move quite quickly."

In early Asian trading, futures for Japan were up 0.3%.

The Australian S&P ASX 200 () and the MSCI global stock index () were roughly unchanged. Hong Kong's futures fell 0.11%.

U.S. lawmakers were still trying to get around $ 2 trillion in a stimulus deal late Thursday. US spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did not speak during the day.

US economic data surprised positively as unemployment claims fell more sharply than expected and sales of existing properties exceeded estimates to a more than 14-year high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 0.54% and the S&P 500 () rose 0.52%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite () gained 0.19%.

US President Donald Trump will debate Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday evening in an attempt to fill a gap in opinion polls ahead of an election in 12 days.

The United States was also on the verge of a widespread coronavirus outbreak. Almost two thirds of the states were in a danger zone. Six reported a record one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday.

The spike rose on Thursday to hit a seven-week low. This reflects dwindling hopes for a coronavirus bailout package ahead of the U.S. election and fears that COVID-19 cases could increase worldwide.

US Treasury benchmark yields rose to a four-month high on optimism about a business deal.

Oil prices also ended higher, fueled by economic hopes, but did not fully recover from the previous session's losses due to signs of deteriorating demand.

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