Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting minutes ahead

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to trade higher at the open as investors await the release of minutes from the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting.Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,550 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,510. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,436.39.Shares in Australia edged higher in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.6%.A new Covid strain in the U.K. has been weighing on investor sentiment globally in recent days. It comes at a time when vaccines are starting to be rolled out and major economies around the world have seen a resurgence in daily coronavirus infections.Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan is set to release minutes from its October monetary policy meeting at around 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 saw a third straight session of losses as it declined 0.2% to 3,687.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 200.94 points to close at 30,015.51. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed as it rose 0.5% to close at 12,807.92, a new record.CurrenciesThe U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 90.606 following an earlier recovery from levels below 90.4.The Japanese yen traded at 103.57 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 104 seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7533, in a trading week that has seen it at levels around $0.76 to below $0.75.Here’s a look at what’s on tap:Japan: Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting minutes at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN

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