Coronavirus, Dow, US jobless claims, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia were set to trade higher on Friday after the soared overnight to its biggest 3-day surge since 1931.

Futures pointed to a higher open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 19,320 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 19,100. That compared against the last close at 18,664.60.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia rose in early trade, with the up more than 2%.

On the economic data front, China’s industrial profits data for February is set to be out at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Friday. The release could offer clues to the economic impact of the coronavirus in China, where the disease was first reported.

Overnight stateside, the Dow skyrocketed 1,351.62 points to close at 22,552.17, capping its biggest three-day surge since 1931. The  also posted a three-day winning streak, rising 6.2% to end its trading day at 2,630.07. The  advanced 5.6%  to close at 7,797.5.

The U.S. Senate , with the stimulus bill now headed for the House, which will push to pass it by voice vote Friday morning. House speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill will be passed “with strong bipartisan support.”

Still, jobless benefit , according to the Labor Department — by far a record. That, however, was still lower than the most dire estimates on Wall Street.

Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the central bank to keep the economy stable.

“We judge markets are pricing‑in a short sharp US recession,” Joseph Capurso, senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note. “Our fear is the surge in jobless claims – even if the benefits paid will soon be increased – will draw-out the recession longer than markets expect.”

The , which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.352 after falling from levels above 100 yesterday.

The traded at 109.31 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 110 yesterday. The changed hands at $0.6057 after seeing levels below $0.58 earlier in the trading week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap in the trading day ahead:

  • China: Industrial profits for February at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

newals’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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