Asia markets: Australia inflation; coronavirus, currencies

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to trade lower at the open as coronavirus infections continue to rise stateside.Futures pointed to a lower open for shares in Japan, with the Nikkei futures contract in Chicago at 23,335 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,400. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,485.80.Shares in Australia were lower in early trade, as the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.46%.On the economic data front, Australia’s consumer price index for the third quarter is expected to be out at around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN.Ahead of that data release, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7116, above levels below $0.704 seen last week.Investor sentiment on Wednesday will likely be impacted by the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S.”Markets remain in a cautious mood given rising hospitalisation rates may require tougher restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure hospitals do not become overwhelmed,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 222.19 points to close at 27,463.19. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% to finish its trading day at 3,390.68. The Nasdaq Composite bucked the negative trend as it gained 0.6% to close at 11,431.35.CurrenciesThe U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, sat at 92.940 after trading at levels above 93 earlier this week.The Japanese yen traded at 104.52 per dollar, having strengthened from levels around 105 against the greenback this week.Here’s a look at what’s on tap:Australia: Consumer price index for third quarter at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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