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  • Asian shares trade mixed amid a lack of major catalysts, same old news.
  • Vaccine optimism prevails, US stimulus talks derail off-late but not closed yet.
  • RBI stands pat, Japan releases draft stimulus details.
  • US-China tussle intensifies, Aussie Retail Sales eased, South Korean Current Account Balance grew in October.

Having refreshed the record high earlier in the day, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gains 0.90% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops nearly 0.20% ahead of Friday’s European session.

The risk barometers initially cheered increasing odds of the US stimulus and the nearness to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. However, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rejection of the $908 billion stimulus proposal, as well as the fresh Sino-American tussle, weighed on risks afterward.

Not only the Trump administration’s confirmation of four Chinese companies to get blacklisted due to the military ties, but the visa limit for the Chinese Communist Party members and their families also teased China Daily to warn the US. However, CNN came out with a different tone suggesting US President-elect Joe Biden has a constructive outlook than Donald Trump despite not liking Beijing.

Elsewhere, the RBI revised up the fiscal year 2021 GDP forecast while keeping the benchmark rates unchanged whereas Japan released a draft stimulus suggesting a hike in helps to private firms. Details suggested further push to the Go to travel and eat-out campaigns until the end of June 2021 as well as measures to adopt a powerful economic package and to avoid a return to deflation, per Reuters.

On the data front, Australia’s second reading of October’s Retail Sales eased from 1.6% initial forecasts to 1.4% whereas South Korea’s Current Account Balance rose from 8.49B expected to 11.66B.

That said, shares in Australia and China stay mildly bid whereas those from India and South Korea pick-up bids with nearly 1.0% gains by press time. Stock futures are also up, near 0.25%, after Wall Street benchmarks refreshed record tops before closing with mixed results.

Moving on, market players will keep their eyes on the vaccine and stimulus headlines whereas the US employment report for November will also be the key to watch next.