Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Thursday despite the positive cues overnight from Wall Street, with investors trading cautiously as they await concrete details on the U.S.-China trade talks that concluded in Beijing. Investors also digested official data that showed China’s inflation for December came in below expectations.
Mainland Chinese markets, watched by investors in relation to Beijing’s ongoing trade war with Washington, seesawed to trade lower. Shanghai composite is lower by 0.23%. Hang Seng is trading flat. ASX, helped by the positive cues overnight from Wall Street and the surge in crude oil prices, is trading higher by 30bps.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 1.4 percent while the Topix index declined 0.8 percent. South Korea’s Kospi recovered from its earlier losses to trade marginally higher as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumped more than 2.8 percent.
Oil also caught investors’ attention after U.S. crude and Brent jumped overnight, helped by optimism over easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions, while OPEC-led crude output cuts also provided support.
The dollar remained on the defensive after hitting its lowest level since mid-October amid the signs Fed policymakers are becoming more cautious about future rate hikes and as investors unwound safe-haven bets due to optimism over the trade talks.