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When exactly will Republicans finally move to repeal Obamacare after delaying Thursday’s vote? Depends on whom you ask.

On Thursday, the White House said it was delaying until Friday to avoid a late-night vote, but was “confident the bill will pass in the morning.” Members of the conservative Freedom Caucus – who hope to push for removal of mandatory benefits for pregnancy and newborn care, among other things – were predicting a Monday vote.

Whatever the bill ultimately looks like, Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House, is unlikely to be pleased at learning the latest version of his signature legislation would yield smaller net reductions to the federal deficit than the original version.

Wall Street turned lower in late trading after the vote was postponed, with the S&P 500 index closing down 0.1 per cent and treasury yields inching higher as investors waited and watched for clues on whether America’s deal-maker-in-chief could actually follow through on a promise to repeal Obamacare.

In Asia Pacific equities, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 is up 0.2 in early trading, while futures tip the Topix index to open flat in Tokyo and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is expected to climb 0.3 per cent when the morning session begins.

Corporate earnings reports out today include China Vanke, China Petroleum & Chemical, Great Wall Motor, Postal Savings Bank of China, Brilliance Automotive and PICC property.

The economic calendar for Friday is little from column A, and a little from column B (all times Hong Kong):

  • 08.30: Japan Nikkei manufacturing PMI (preliminary)
  • 10.00: Sri Lanka interest rates decision
  • 12.00: Malaysia consumer price inflation
  • 13.o0: Singapore industrial production
  • 15.30: Thailand foreign exchange reserves
  • Vietnam consumer price inflation data is also expected out today.

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