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  • Asian shares trade mixed as looming talks over American stimulus confront news of US-China trade talks on August 15.
  • China’s Caixin Services PMI lagged behind market consensus, New Zealand Employment data offer positive surprise.
  • US data, chatter over relief package in the spotlight.

Asian equities fail to portray market sentiment while flashing mixed signals ahead of Wednesday’s Asian session. In doing so, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rises 0.77% but Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops 0.50% by the press time.

Although looming uncertainty over the US coronavirus (COVID-19) relief package disappoints market players, news suggesting the August 15 trade talks between the US and China keep the traders hopeful. Further, increasing odds of larger virus wave 2.0 and downbeat Caixin Services PMI weighs on the risk-tone sentiment. On the contrary, upbeat prints of New Zealand jobs report for the second-quarter (Q2) and updates signaling further stimulus from Japan and the UK keep investors positive.

Against this backdrop, Australia’s ASX 200 drops over 0.60% to 6,000 but New Zealand’s NZX 50 stay 0.10% in the loss as we write. Further, stocks in China and Hong Kong stay mildly positive whereas South Korea’s KOSPI becomes the largest gainer while crossing 2,300 mark, up 1.10% on a day. Moving on, Indonesia’s IDX Composite also adds 0.20% amid hopes of further government help after the nation’s GDP contracts 4.19% in Q2 whereas India’s BSE Sensex inch closer to 1.0% gains in anticipation of receding pandemic impact.

Elsewhere, US stocks futures and Treasury yields reverse the early-day losses with mild gains while gold refreshed the record top over $2,000.

Looking forward, traders will wait for the US ADP Employment Change and ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI for fresh impetus. However, major attention will be given to the news concerning the US Congress decision on the aid package. Although the American diplomats are likely to agree over the unemployment claims, Republicans’ hard stand over the total outlay proposed by Democrats could derail talks before the August vacation, starting this weekend.