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Shares in Asia decline; Wall Road rallies to highs once more

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set to dip at the open as major indexes on Wall Street touched record highs overnight.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,820 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,720. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,822.29.

On the coronavirus front, Moderna said Monday it’s accelerating work on a Covid-19 booster shot to for the recently discovered variant in South Africa. The firm’s researchers said its current coronavirus vaccine appears to work against the two highly transmissible strains found in the U.K. and South Africa, though it looks like it may be less effective against the latter.

Shares of Apple suppliers in Asia will be watched by investors after the Cupertino-based tech giant’s stock stateside rose to an all-time high on Monday.

Markets in Australia and India are closed on Tuesday for holidays.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.4% to a new record close of 3,855.36. The Nasdaq Composite also reached a fresh closing high, advancing 0.7% to 13,635.99. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged as it dipped 36.98 points to end its trading day at 30,960.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.344 after seeing levels below 90.3 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.75 per dollar, weaker than levels below 103.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7713, weaker than levels above $0.772 seen yesterday.

What’s on tap:

Japan: Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting minutes at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

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Katherine Clark