SINGAPORE — Shares in Australia slipped in Friday morning trade, with the country’s October retail sales data expected later in the day.
The S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.24% in morning trade, with shares of major miner BHP declining about 0.5%.
Australia’s retail sales data for October is set to be released at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN.
Meanwhile, the Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,435 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,510. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,499.28.
In Covid developments, World Health Organization officials said Thursday they are monitoring a new variant with “a large number of mutations.” A special meeting is scheduled for Friday to discuss its implications for vaccines and treatments.
Markets in the U.S. were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.789 — still above levels below 96.5 seen earlier in the trading week.
The Japanese yen traded at 115.18 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 114.5 seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7183 following yesterday’s drop from levels above $0.72.