The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles, in the latest action designed to punish Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

US officials said the sanctions were placed on the Equipment Development Department, the branch of the People’s Liberation Army responsible for the weapons and equipment used by the Chinese military.

China bought 20 Russian Sukhoi-25 fighter jets last year and a batch of S-400 surface-to-air missiles this year from Rosoboronexport, the Russian state-owned arms exporter, according to the US. The American officials said the purchases constituted a “significant transaction” under a law aimed at punishing Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, triggering sanctions on the Chinese military entity.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index closed up 0.8 per cent at a fresh record high, led by the technology stocks that have powered much of this year’s equity market rally as well as economy-sensitive sectors such as materials and banks.

In Asia-Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 to open flat, while Tokyo’s Topix is set to rise 1.1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is expected to gain 0.7 per cent when trading begins.

The economic calendar for Friday was produced using deep learning (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.30: Japan consumer price index
  • 08.30: Japan Nikkei manufacturing purchasing managers’ index
  • 11.00: Thailand customs-based imports, exports and trade balance
  • 16.30: Hong Kong current account balance

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