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Asia-Pacific shares commerce blended; non-public survey of China’s companies exercise forward

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Friday morning trade as investors await the release of a private survey of China’s services sector activity for September.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.15% while the Topix index was fractionally lower.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia were little changed, with the S&P/ASX 200 below the flatline.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded slightly higher.

Markets in South Korea and Taiwan are closed on Friday for holidays.

Over in China, the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index is expected to be out at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN. The data could provide more clues on the state of China’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Investor focus will also likely be on ongoing developments regarding potential new fiscal stimulus stateside. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on Thursday about a broad coronavirus stimulus plan, after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of talks earlier in the week and called for stand-alone bills. 

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.555 after seeing levels around 93.9 earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.98 per dollar. having weakened this week from levels below 105.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7172, in a week that has seen it bouncing from levels below $0.712.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down fractionally to $43.32 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were also slightly lower at $41.17 per barrel.

What’s on tap:

China: Caixin services PMI for September at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

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Katherine Clark