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Asia stocks set for mixed open; Ant Group gets approval to operate consumer finance firm

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a mixed Friday start, with investors monitoring Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed stock following a major positive development for its affiliate Ant Group.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,000 while its counterpart in Osaka sat at 28,980. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,058.11.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia looked poised to open little changed. The SPI futures contract was at 7,265.0, as compared with the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,260.10.

Investors will monitor Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba after Ant Group received approval to operate a consumer finance company. That marked a major positive development for Ant in the forced restructuring of its business months after its highly anticipated debut was abruptly shelved.

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Looking ahead, the Reserve Bank of India is set to announce its interest rate decision at 2:15 p.m. HK/SIN on Friday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 23.34 points to 34,577.04. The S&P 500 dipped 0.36% to 4,192.85 while the Nasdaq Composite lagged, dropping 1.03% to 13,614.51.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.512 after a recent climb from below 90.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.28 per dollar, weaker than levels below 110 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7659, lower than levels above $0.772 seen earlier in the week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • India: Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate decision at 2:15 p.m. HK/SIN



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