Shares in Asia Pacific were set to trade mixed on Thursday following an overnight slip for stocks on Wall Street.
Futures pointed to a lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 21,055, as compared to the benchmark Nikkei 225’s last close at 21,129.72.
Shares in Australia, on the other hand, were set to rise. The SPI futures contract was at 6,552.0, as compared to the ASX 200’s last close at 6,543.70.
Investors will be watching out for market reaction from Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index. It closed 1.73% lower on Wednesday, having lost as much as 2% in the afternoon, while Chinese companies in Hong Kong ended down 1.2%, amid violent clashes between protesters and riot police over a controversial extradition bill.
Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 43.68 points to close at 26,004.83 while the S&P 500 ended its trading day 0.2% lower at 2,879.84. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, sliding 0.4% to close at 7,792.72.
Wednesday’s declines stateside came following muted trading action in the previous session. The Dow closed marginally lower on Tuesday, ending a six-day winning streak.
Oil prices plunged on Wednesday following data that showed an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories for the second week in a row, against the backdrop of fears that fuel demand could weaken amid the U.S.-China trade fight.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures plunged $2.13 to $51.15 per barrel, tumbling 4% on the day to a new five-month low. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, fell $2.32 or 3.7%, at $59.97 a barrel, its first settle below $60 since January.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.000 after rising from levels around 96.6 yesterday.
The Japanese yen changed hands at 108.49 against the dollar after seeing levels below 108.3 in the previous session. while the Australian dollar traded at $0.6929 after slipping from the $0.696 handle yesterday.
— CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Tom DiChristopher contributed to this report.