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  • Asian stocks trade mixed as S&P 500 Futures waver above 3,700.
  • Chinese stocks print gains while those from Australia, New Zealand drop.
  • Chinese PMIs remain mostly positive, BOK’s Lee favors easing.
  • Virus woes gain momentum amid a light calendar and New Year Eve celebrations.

Asian equities wobbled between gains and losses during the early Thursday. While Chinese shares benefit from December’s activity numbers and the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine news, their Aussie and Kiwi counterparts mark losses as virus resurgence threatens the sentiment. Further, markets in Japan are up for a four-day off due to the year-end festivities.

That said, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rise 0.43% by press time. Australia’s ASX 200 drops 1.43% as covid spread fastens in Victoria whereas New Zealand’s NZX 50 track losses of the largest customer Australia amid a lack of major data/events.

Not only in Australia but the virus woes are gradually firming up in the US, the UK and Japan as well. While America marked two cases of the covid variant found in the UK, Britain is ready to accept the calls of a third national lockdown. Furthermore, Japan’s Economy Minister Nishimura also warned over the national emergency amid a jump in the COVID-19 figures.

On the contrary, stocks in China, Hong Kong and India are up after Beijing released December’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index figures. Out of which, the Manufacturing PMI stays near 52.0 forecast with 51.9 figures, versus 52.4 prior whereas Non-Manufacturing PMI jumped past-52.4 expected while flashing 55.7 level.

It’s worth mentioning that China’s National Medical Products Commission approved the Sinopharm covid vaccine for general use and helped battle the virus worries.

While looking at the broader scale, US policymakers haven’t yet announced the $2,000 paycheck but their British counterpart managed to approve the Brexit deal. Further, the US calls for additional tariffs on certain products from Germany and France while also sending two warplanes to the Middle East the Taiwan Strait.

Against this backdrop, S&P 500 Futures seesaw around 3,720/25 after Wall Street benchmarks closed with mild gains following the fresh record high on Wednesday.

Looking forward, a light calendar, coupled with the off in multiple markets, keep challenging the moves during the final day of 2020.