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  • Asian shares were defensive while tracking Wall Street, second-tier risks concerning China.
  • Blood clotting problems keep the Johnson & Johnson vaccine off from jabbing, virus conditions worsen in India.
  • Australian jobs report flash upbeat numbers, Indonesian trade figures came in mixed for March.
  • US Retail Sales, risk catalysts can entertain investors ahead of China’s data dump.

Equities in Asia-Pacific part ways from S&P 500 Futures during early Thursday as global markets consolidate recent gains amid fresh coronavirus (COVID-19) risks as well as the US-China tension. Also challenging the mood could be cautious sentiment ahead of Friday’s China data as well as US Retail Sales, up for publishing today.

This weighs on the MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, down 0.50% by the press time, whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 struggles for a clear direction as BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda repeats old statements of readiness for further easy monetary policies.

Elsewhere, Australia’s ASX 200 bucks the trend with 0.63% intraday gains as the Aussie jobs report for March came in better-than-forecast. However, IDX Composite couldn’t’ benefit Indonesian trade numbers whereas New Zealand’s NZX 50 is also down 1.10% by the press time.

Chinese diplomat indirectly warns the US over strong linkages and interference over Hong Kong issues. Also on the risk-negative side were comments from Taiwanese leaders suggesting stronger US-Taiwan ties and criticism of China’s foreign policies.

It’s worth mentioning that record top covid numbers weighed down the Indian stock prices but those from Beijing and Hong Kong remain depressed as the US dollar recovers from a three-week low amid risk-off mood.

Moving on, US Retail Sales for March and Weekly Jobless Claims will be the key to watch ahead of China’s data dump, up for publishing on Friday. Although Chinese figures have been positive off-late, any negative surprises could add a burden on the Asian equities.

Read:  S&P 500 Futures trim early Asian gains amid vaccine jitters, geopolitical risks