SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific edged higher in Thursday morning trading as investors continue to monitor the Covid situation in China as well as movements in the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.39% while the Topix index advanced 0.23%. The South Korean Kospi climbed 0.31%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose slightly.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded little changed.

Investors will watch for signs of policy support from Chinese authorities as the mainland continues to grapple with its most severe wave of Covid since the initial outbreak in 2020. The strict zero-Covid policy has raised questions about the economic outlook from China.

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Stocks on Wall Street were mixed overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 249.59 points, or 0.71%, to 35,160.79. The S&P 500 fell slightly to 4,459.45 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged, falling 1.22% to around 13,453.07.

Yen watch

The Japanese yen was trading at 128.11 to the dollar after strengthening from levels above 129 against the greenback yesterday.

Still, the Japanese currency remains weaker from the sub-126 levels seen against the dollar last week.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 100.355 after falling recently from around 101.

The Australian Dollar changed hands at $0.7444, higher than levels below $0.736 seen earlier this week.

Oil prices were higher in morning trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent futures up 0.65% at $107.49 a barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 0.43% to $102.63 a barrel.