Barring Australia, the rest of the Asian stock market indices were trading lower on 6 May. China's Shanghai Composite Index too was down 1.64% at 2,948.71 as of 5.37am GMT. This was ahead of the US payrolls data for April, which is expected to be released today.
A Reuters poll forecasts the data to show that 202,000 people were added to the workforce by employers in the US with the jobless rate standing at 5%. This data is said to be a key influencer to the US Fed's decision on a potential rate hike in its June policy meeting — the reason why investors are eagerly awaiting this data.
Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG, said, "Markets will be slightly more nervous around the Friday release of the non-farm payrolls number (expected at 200,000) after ADP employment growth came in at 154,000, well below the market consensus of 195,000."
The Australian stock market, however, bucked the bearish trend after its central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its inflation outlook sharply. This indicated that there were possibilities for future interest rate cuts.
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 6 May at 5.51am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,187.24||Down||1.28%|
|South Korea||KOSPI (Holiday)|
Meanwhile, overnight (5 May), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,660.71, up 0.05%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,115.90, up 0.06%.
Among commodities, oil prices were in the red. They faced pressure amid the strengthening of the US dollar. On 6 May, WTI crude oil was trading 1.06% lower at $43.85 (£30.30, €38.47) a barrel, while Brent was 0.76% lower at $44.67 a barrel at 6.02am GMT.