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  • Asian equities grind higher as latest virus data from the region suggest receding spread.
  • Chinese shares lead the gains despite mixed inflation data, NZX 50 occupies the other extreme.
  • US policymakers flash mixed signals amid surging pandemic, Sino-American question risk-takers.

Asian stocks follow the foot-steps of Chinese equities amid hopes of further stimulus during the early Thursday. In doing so, the traders pay a little heed to the US-China tussle and the surge in the US coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Other than the push from Beijing, receding pandemic figures from Tokyo and Australia also brighten the sentiment despite mixed CPI and PPI from the dragon nation.

Against this backdrop, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gain 0.75% whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 adds 0.88% to piece 22,600 as BOJ hints at ramping up the aid package. Further, Australia’s ASX 200 rises over 1.0% to 5,985 but New Zealand’s NZX 50 bucks the trend with 2.40% loss as traders anticipate a return to normal with a cut in stimulus at home. Additionally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng prints mild gains, so do Indonesia’s IDX Composite, as global superpowers gather against Beijing’s rush for more. Even so, China’s blue-chip index and Shanghai Composite offer 15% monthly gains so far with a consecutive eight day of a rise.

US stocks futures dwindle with the 10-year Treasury yields as Fed policymakers keep the fears of further gloom ahead. Also, record budget deficit and escalating tension with China exert additional downside on the risk-tone sentiment.

On the data front, China’s June month inflation figures marked mixed readings with headlines Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising beyond the forecast while Producer Price Index (PPI) staying in the deflation region. Figures from Japan and New Zealand have been upbeat but were largely ignored amid a mostly quiet session.

Looking forward, the upcoming earnings season will be in focus for near-term trading decisions amid hopes of extra gains based on the further stimulus. Also, US Jobless Claims and scheduled comments from US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will join the pandemic data for additional directives.