SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks appeared set for a lower start on Thursday, with investors awaiting the release of China’s trade data for May expected later today.
Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,195 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,140 — against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,234.29.
Australian stocks also looked poised for a lower open, with the SPI futures contract at 7,079, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,121.10.
China is set to announce its trade data for May later on Thursday.
The European Central Bank is also expected to signal a July rate hike at its policy meeting later on Thursday. In Asia-Pacific, the central banks of Australia and India both announced rate hikes earlier this week.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 shed 1.08% to 4,115.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 269.24 points, or 0.81%, to 32,910.90. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.73% to 12,086.27.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.542 in a turbulent week that has seen it go from levels below 102 to around 102.8.
The Japanese yen traded at 134.41 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 132 seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7191, still off levels above $0.725 seen last week.