Asia markets set for mixed open as US politics take center stage

  • Asia markets are set for a mixed open on Wednesday following another positive finish on Wall Street.
  • U.S. futures fell after Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight counts related to tax fraud, excessive campaign contributions, making false statements to a financial institution and unlawful corporate contributions at a court hearing in New York
  • Overnight, the S&P 500 briefly touched an all-time high while equaling the record for the longest bull market ever.

Asia markets are set for a mixed open on Wednesday following another positive finish on Wall Street as the S&P 500 briefly touched an all-time high while equaling the record for the longest bull market ever.

Nikkei futures in Chicago and Osaka traded at 22,245 and 22,320 respectively, as compared to the index’s last close at 22,219.73.

Over in Australia, SPI futures were trading at 6,240 as compared to the ASX 200’s last close at 6,284.4.

U.S. futures fell after President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts related to tax fraud, excessive campaign contributions, making false statements to a financial institution, and unlawful corporate contributions at a court hearing in New York. He could face more than five years in prison.

The S&P e-mini futures were down 0.48 percent at 2,848, indicating that Wall Street might potentially open lower in the next trading session.

U.S. markets ended the day with yet another positive finish. The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high of 2,873.23 before paring some of its gains to close 0.21 percent up at 2,862.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 63.6 points up to close at 25,822.29 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.49 percent to end the day at 7,859.17.

Also in focus: U.S. and Chinese officials are set to begin a new round of talks in Washington today in an effort to find a resolution to the ongoing trade dispute between the two largest economies of the world. Trump is reportedly preparing to add more tariffs this week.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was trading at 95.256 at 6:54 a.m. HK/SIN. The Japanese yen traded at 110.11 against the dollar. The Australian dollar, meanwhile, lost some of its earlier gains against the greenback to trade at $0.7356.

Oil hit its highest level in a week on Tuesday as the looming U.S. sanctions on Iran lifted markets. The global benchmark brent crude futures for October rose 42 cents to settle at $72.63 a barrel while U.S. crude futures for October rose 42 cents to settle at $64.84 a barrel.

– CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Reuters contributed to this report

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