Japanese stocks are closing higher on the back of a rally in US equities overnight, and exporter firms are also helped by a weaker yen with USD/JPY rising to 106.00.
Elsewhere, the Hang Seng is up 2% while the Shanghai Composite is up 0.5% as we approach the closing stages of the session. US futures are keeping closer to flat levels, with S&P 500 futures seen up 0.1% currently.
That is keeping the risk mood in markets more in-check as we look towards European trading. EUR/USD is little changed at 1.1765 while USD/JPY is mildly higher at 106.10.
The more positive mood from US trading at the end of last week is helping somewhat, but also the fact that we saw a modest drop in the yen against the dollar and that is contributing to a better mood among exporter firms to start the week.
Elsewhere, the mood in Asia is more mixed with the Hang Seng down 0.7% while the Shanghai Composite is up 1.4%. US futures are more flat ahead of European trading.
That is keeping the risk mood more tepid for the time being, with major currencies observing little change in general. The franc is a little lower though to start the day, still coming off fresh five-year highs against the dollar on Thursday last week.
The Nikkei is ending the week on a softer note, as fears surrounding domestic and global growth are still evident amid the escalating virus situation in Japan and the US. The stronger yen also weighed on exporters as we see USD/JPY fall to 104.00 levels.
On the week, the Nikkei is seen down by over 4%.
Elsewhere, the Hang Seng is down 0.3% while the Shanghai Composite is keeping higher by 0.2% in a bit of a mixed session for Chinese equities today.
The broader picture paints a more cautious and defensive risk tone in Asian trading this week. For today, US futures are keeping calmer near flat levels but Nasdaq futures are higher after earnings beats from key tech giants overnight.
In the currencies space, the dollar is still among the laggards as we see EUR/USD inch towards 1.1900 and cable looking to keep a break above 1.3100.