S&P 500 Futures eye record highs amid light trading, shrugs off Asia-pac covid woes

The market mood remains cautiously optimistic on the final trading day of this week amid no reprieve on the coronavirus front, as a fresh blow hits the Asia-pac sentiment.

With Japanese markets out on a public holiday, subdued trading activity extends after Chinese stocks opened in the red. Meanwhile, S&P 500 futures are adding 0.30% on the day, closing in on the record highs of 4,384.38.

The Asian indices are trading mixed, with the Chinese stocks down about 1%. Australia’s ASX 200 is up 0.11% at 7,394 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng drops 0.88% so far.

Among the latest updates on the covid situation globally, lockdown in Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is likely to be extended beyond July-end. The capital of New South Wales (NSW) reports 136 new cases in the past 24 hours.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian said that the restrictions will not be removed as was planned on July 30. Note that a 'National Emergency' has been declared in relation to the Sydney outbreak. 

On the other side, the second-most popular state of Australia, Victoria, sees a minor drop in the new covid count, with 14 new infections reported as of Friday.

In the wake of the worsening covid situation in Australia, New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern suspended its quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for eight weeks.

Meanwhile, in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, coronavirus restrictions are expected to be extended for another two weeks.

The new covid epicentre of the world, Indonesia, the COVID-19 tally surpassed 3 million while India reported 41,383 more cases.

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