Stocks in Asia were set to trade higher at the open on Friday as investors continue to watch for developments on U.S.-China trade following a recent escalation in tensions over Hong Kong.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese shares, with the Nikkei futures contract in Chicago at 23,480 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,470. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,409.14.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia edged higher in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 up around 0.3%.

The Bank of Korea is set to make its interest rate decision on Friday.

Following the signing of bills by U.S. President Donald Trump in support of Hong Kong protesters on Wednesday, investors continue to assess the potential impact on ongoing trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. China strongly condemned the actions of the U.S., with the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying Thursday that Washington had “sinister intentions.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by months of civil unrest initially sparked by a since-withdrawn extradition bill.

That comes as an anticipated “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China remains elusive ahead of Dec. 15, when additional tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. are set to go into effect.

Markets stateside were closed on Thursday for a holiday.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.327 after earlier touching lows below 98.3.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 109.51 against the dollar after seeing highs below 108.8 earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6769 after touching lows around $0.676 yesterday.

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What’s on tap:

  • South Korea: Bank of Korea interest rate decision
  • Taiwan: Revised GDP for the third quarter at 4:00 p.m. HK/SIN
  • India: Third quarter GDP at 8:00 p.m. HK/SIN