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  • Asian equities alternate gains with losses amid mild risk-off sentiment.
  • Virus-led optimism fizzles, trade war fears renew.
  • PBOC’s status-quo, mixed data from Australia/Japan keeps troubling traders.
  • FOMC minutes in the spotlight while trade/virus can offer intermediate moves.

Asian equities fade upside momentum amid less activity ahead of the European session on Wednesday. While an absence of updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) cure pours cold water on the face of hopes, US policymakers’ push for an investigation into China’s role in virus outbreak weighs on the risks.

On the contrary, comments from the White House Adviser Larry Kudlow suggests no break to the US-China trade deal while Goldman Sachs becomes the latest one to join the no negative Fed rate chorus.

As a result, the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares, ex-Japan, registers 0.10% gains while Japan’s NIKKEI is up 1.11% to 20,660 by the press time. Even so, stocks in New Zealand and China drop amid the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) status-quote whereas those from Indonesia bears the burden of Bank Indonesia’s (BI) downbeat comments.

Further, Indian equity benchmarks are mildly positive and so does their counterparts in Australia as traders anticipate further aids from the respective policymakers.

That said, the US 10-year Treasury yields decline two basis points (bps) to 0.693% while the US stock futures part ways from Wall Street’s downbeat closing as US President Donald Trump pushes for economic restart.

Looking forward, minutes of the latest Fed meeting will be the key catalyst on the calendar while the qualitative factor could continue entertaining the markets.