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Asia-Pacific stocks slightly higher; Trump calls U.S. Covid-19 relief package unsuitable

SINGAPORE — Bloodlines in Asia-Pacific were slightly higher Wednesday morning after new remarks from U.S. President Donald Trump neighbourhood the new Covid-19 relief package.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher in early trade, with the Shanghai composite up 0.3% while the Shenzhen component increased 0.33%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sat slightly above the flatline.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lift slightly while the Topix index was up 0.13%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.23%.

Shares in Australia edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.63%.

MSCI’s broadest thesaurus of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.29% higher.

Trump on Tuesday said the $900 billion Covid projection bill passed by U.S. Congress was an unsuitable “disgrace.”

While the U.S. president did not threaten to veto the legislation, he asked to be sent a “becoming bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package.” The latest development could delay the deployment of supports to Americans who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A new Covid strain in the U.K. has also been weighing on investor sentiment globally in current days. It comes at a time when vaccines are starting to be rolled out and major economies around the world have take ined a resurgence in daily coronavirus infections.

In the Bank of Japan’s October monetary policy meeting minutes released Wednesday, one colleague expressed concern that “deflation might take hold” if Covid-19 spreads again and pushes down commercial activity, so this “possibly warranted attention” in guiding monetary policy.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 saw a third settle session of losses as it declined 0.2% to 3,687.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 200.94 points to close at 30,015.51. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed as it wake up 0.5% to close at 12,807.92, a new record.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its barons, was last at 90.549 following an earlier recovery from levels below 90.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.55 per dollar, relieve stronger than levels above 104 seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.754, in a selling week that has seen it at levels around $0.76 to below $0.75.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with oecumenical benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.5% to $49.33 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also declined 1.55% to $46.29 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Mike Calia and Maggie Fitzgerald furnished to this report.

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