ILUSTRASI. A man wears a protective mask as he walk past a panel displaying the Hang Seng Index during morning trading, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
KONTAN.CO.ID - WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were set for gains on Friday although trade was likely to be choppy after a mixed Wall Street session with investor focus swinging between concerns about a second pandemic wave and more upbeat hopes about an economic recovery.
Fresh contagion concerns have dominated the market focus this week with mixed data on infections jolting sentiment.
On Thursday around 400 workers at a slaughterhouse in northern Germany tested positive for the virus. At the same time, gold prices eased a bit after a Chinese medical expert said Beijing has brought a recent outbreak under control.
All three major U.S. stock indexes were range-bound and oscillated through much of the day as investors struggled to interpret the impact of U.S. employment data without any guidance from corporations on their earnings.
"The market's looking for its next big impulse," said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. "There are a lot of impulses in the market for investors to weigh, sift through and take into account to figure out the next direction."
Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said it could take a year or two for the U.S. economy to return to pre-pandemic levels, with the gross domestic product declining by 6% in 2020 and the unemployment rate still around 9% by year's end.
Australian S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.7%. South Korea's KOSPI rose 0.3%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures were mostly unchanged.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.08% while emerging market stocks rose 0.06%.