Asian stocks poised for gains after late Wall St dash

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks were set to open higher on Friday as a late Wall Street rally supported global sentiment although weak U.S. data and uncertainty about a stimulus package in Washington have kept a lid on confidence.

FILE PHOTO” Passersby wearing protective masks walk past an electronic board showing Japan’s Nikkei average in Tokyo, Japan September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

U.S. stocks ended positive in choppy trade on Thursday, led by a dogged comeback in the technology sector, having initially sold off on higher than expected unemployment claims.

“What we’ve seen for equity markets is there is quite a good deal of resilience,” said Tom Piotrowski, a market analyst at Australian broker CommSec. “Commentators like to stack up all of the negatives markets face, the U.S. election being among them, but I think there is a sense that there is an underlying resilience in the market.”

In early Asian trade, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.12% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures added 0.13%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.45%. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.43%.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are working on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that could be voted on as soon as next week, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterating she is ready to negotiate on it with the White House.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, the S&P 500 gained 0.30% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.37%.

The U.S. dollar lost ground as investor confidence returned. The dollar index fell 0.056%.

U.S. Treasury yields fell, but moved off lows after a stronger-than-expected report on the housing sector.

Oil prices were steady as a new wave of coronavirus cases in Europe led several countries to re-impose travel restrictions, offsetting a drop in U.S. crude and fuel inventories.

U.S. crude recently fell 0.12% to $40.26 per barrel and Brent was flat.

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