Stocks in Japan were set to trade lower on Thursday as investors await the release of a private survey of China’s services activity in April.
The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 19,345 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 19,490. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 19,619.35.
Meanwhile, shares in Australia were set to dip at the open. The SPI futures contract was at 5,348, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,384.60.
On the economic data front, the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index is expected to be out around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.
Australia’s trade data for March is also set to be released around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.
Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are closed on Thursday for holidays.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell for the first time in three days. The Dow closed 218.45 points lower at 23,664.64 while the S&P 500 slid 0.7% to end its trading day at 2,848.42. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, rose 0.7% to close at 8,854.39.
The moves stateside came as a report from ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed private payrolls were cut by 20.2 million last month — the worst print in the data series’ history. Still, that was not as bad as a Dow Jones estimate of 22 million job losses.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 100.091 after crossing the 100 mark earlier.
The Japanese yen traded at 106.08 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 106.5 seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6384, off levels above $0.642 seen earlier in the trading week.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap for Thursday:
- Australia: Trade data for March at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
- China: Caixin/Markit services PMI at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN
— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.