Asian stock market indices were trading in a mixed pattern, with China's Shanghai Composite Index down 0.08% at 2,998.24 on Thursday, 31 March at 6.19am GMT. This followed a positive close overnight on Wall Street and the Footsie, following the dovish comments by US Fed chairperson Janet Yellen indicating slim chances of a Fed rate increase in its April policy meeting.
Investors' risk appetite seems to have increased in certain Asian regions ever since Yellen's statements. Kim Moon-il, a foreign exchange analyst at Eugene Futures in Seoul, said: "Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech earlier this week is still dragging the dollar down, sparking risk appetite globally."
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 31 March at 6.27am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,715.45||Down||0.42%|
Going forward, market sentiment would depend on certain data from the US and China. Strategists at ANZ explained: "Global markets are likely to be dominated by month- and quarter-end flows today as markets await tomorrow's US Institute of Supply Management data, non-farm payrolls and global purchasing managers' indexes, particularly that of China."
Overnight (30 March), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,716.66 up 0.47%, while the FTSE 100 closed 1.59% higher at 6,203.17.
Among commodities, oil prices declined after official data from the US indicated that crude inventories were back to all-time highs. On 31 March, WTI crude oil was trading 1.20% lower at $37.86 (£26.40, €33.44) a barrel, while Brent was down 0.89% at $38.91 a barrel at 6.34am GMT.