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  • Asian shares refresh record top amid hopes of US stimulus.
  • Greater Brisbane announced three-day lockdown after Japan’s emergency the previous day.
  • Covid numbers jump to all-time high in the US and the UK but vaccinations keep economic recovery hopes alive.
  • US NFP, Trump’s impeachment and $2,000 paycheck eyed.

Asian equities remain on the front-foot, except for China, during early Friday as the coronavirus vaccinations in the US and the UK, coupled with the hopes of the American aid package, backed by Democratic victory, favor risks. However, the Sino-American tussle and virus conditions in Australia and Japan challenge the bulls.

That said, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares refresh record top, currently up 1.02%, whereas Japan’s Nikkei adds over 2.0% while probing the late-1990 levels. It should be noted that Japanese business houses have recently asked for government support to the struggling firms during the second emergency, which in turn suggests further stimulus is coming from Japan. Nikkei’s upside also ignores Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso’s downbeat comments.

On the other hand, Greater Brisbane announced a three-day lockdown after finding the virus variant, traced from the UK. Following the same, Aussie PM Scott Morrison said the situation is serious but Australia’s ASX 200 prints 0.51% intraday gains by press time. New Zealand’s NZX 50 tracks the gains of the Aussie markets while Hong Kong’s Hang Sang and India’s BSE Sensex are on the same line.

Further, Chinese stocks dwindle, register mild losses, as the US prepares further sanctions on the companies from Beijing. It’s worth mentioning that stocks in South Korea and Indonesia are among the regional leaders with nearly 3.0% and 1.5% respective upside by the time of press.

S&P 500 Futures refresh record top as Trump’s inciting of supporter to rock Capitol Hill eases the Democrats’ path to the easy ruling and more stimulus. Also favoring the mood is the light calendar and a jump in the vaccinations.

Read: S&P 500 Futures cheer US stimulus hopes to refresh record top past-3,800 on NFP day

Moving on, market players will pay attention to the US aid package headlines and the COVID-19 updates ahead of the US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) for December.

Read: Nonfarm Payrolls Preview: Long path to recover to be even longer