Japan stocks set for higher start after S&P 500 sails to a new record overnight

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked poised for a positive Friday start, following gains overnight on Wall Street with the S&P 500 closing at a new record.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,875 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,820. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,798.37.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5% in morning trade.

Many markets in Asia-Pacific, including Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, are set to close early on Friday due to Christmas Eve.

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Overnight stateside, major averages rose for a third day on Thursday as investors looked past earlier jitters about the spread of the omicron Covid variant. The S&P 500 rose 0.62% to close at a new record of 4,725.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 196.67 points to 35,950.56 while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.85% to 15,653.37.

U.S. markets are closed on Friday for the Christmas holiday.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.062 following its slide earlier this week from around 96.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.45 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 113.5 seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7233, having risen from levels below $0.714 earlier this week.