• Asian equities track Wall Street amid mixed catalysts, cautious mood.
  • China’s fresh salvo on technology company, coronavirus jitters challenge bulls.
  • Receding fears of Fed’s tapering, vaccine optimism keeps buyers hopeful.

Asian shares fail to portray clear market direction as concerns over China and the latest jump in the virus numbers weigh on the earlier optimism amid a light calendar on Thursday.

China’s run of disappointing data doesn’t stop Beijing from regulatory assaults on the technology companies, which in turn weigh on the dragon nation’s equities and spills over the Asia-Pacific region.

A record jump in Australia’s daily covid cases, by 1,466 cases for Wednesday, per the latest data from ABC News, joins worrisome virus numbers from New Zealand and the UK to challenge the previous optimism. It’s worth noting that Japan is also up for extending the virus-led state of emergency in Tokyo and 20 other prefectures by another two weeks.

Amid these plays, MSCI’s index of Asia–Pacific shares outside Japan rise 0.37% on a day whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 pays a little heed to chatters over the extended emergencies in the key prefectures to print a 0.25% upside on a day.

China prints mixed numbers and Australia drops 0.80% despite strong Aussie trade numbers. Further, traders from New Zealand follow PM Jacinda Ardern’s hopes of overcoming the pandemic even as infections jump past 700 levels.

Bank of Korea’s Governor Lee Ju-yeol couldn’t save KOSPI, down 1.0% by the press time whereas Indonesia’s IDX Composite drops 0.30% amid mildly offbeat markets. On the contrary, India’s BSE Sensex prints mild gains even as the country reports the highest daily infections since early July.

On a broader front, Germany’s Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann backed the ECB tapering chatters on the bloc’s recently upbeat statistics whereas softer signals for the US jobs report hint at delayed tapering by the US Federal Reserve (Fed). Additionally, the Western leaders are pushing for more vaccines and booster shots while the World Health Organization (WHO) cites the risk of another virus variant that is vaccine-resistant.

Amid these plays, S&P 500 Futures and the US 10-year Treasury yields remain pressured, mostly unchanged, while the US Dollar Index (DXY) keeps late Wednesday’s bounce off monthly low.

Read: US Stocks Forecast: This could be blue skies for Wall Street, tech leads the way

Moving on, the US Q2 Nonfarm Productivity, Weekly Jobless Claims and Factory Orders for July will be watched to clarify downbeat forecasts of the US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) and propel the markets should the actual data softens.

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