Japan Nikkei, Australia stocks, currencies in focus

Asian markets were set for a mixed session on Monday, even after the U.S.’s S&P 500 extended its winning streak on Friday to six days. Markets inside the Greater China region remain closed for the Lunar brand new Year holiday.

Nikkei futures traded at 21,900, pointing to a higher open for the Japanese benchmark index — the Nikkei 225 previously finished at 21,720.25.

In Australia, the ASX 0 slipped in early trade, falling about 0.16 percent. The heavily weighted financial subindex rose 0.11 percent, while the energy sector fell 1.87 percent along with materials fell 0.88 percent.

Still, major indexes inside the U.S. ended off their session highs after news broke in which special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals along with three Russian entities for allegedly interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Meanwhile, inside the currency market, the Japanese yen traded at 106.37 to the dollar, strengthening through levels above 108 inside the previous week.

The Australian dollar traded at $0.7907 at 6:37 a.m. HK/SIN, falling through levels near $0.7980 reached last week.

Elsewhere, the dollar index last traded at 89.100 inside the previous week, climbing through levels near 88.0.

“The U.S. dollar staged a minor comeback for no obvious reason different than position squaring into the U.S. holiday weekend, with euro leading the move along with yen lagging yet still managing to fully recoup the APAC session swoon to end marginally weaker on the day,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at the National Bank of Australia, wrote in a morning note.

He pointed out in which for the week, the dollar was still lower in index terms with losses led by the yen strength.

The U.S. market will be closed on Monday for Presidents Day.

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