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Asian stock markets were trading in a mixed pattern for the day amid concerns over the China slowdown and oil prices, which continued to decline. China's markets, however, were trading in the green.
China's Shanghai Composite Index, which lost all of its 2015 gains last week, was trading at 3,028.04, up 0.38%. This comes as a relief after trading in this index was halted twice last week as the index hit the 7% circuit breaker amid Chinese investors losing their confidence. Beijing eventually removed the circuit breaker, which was introduced at the start of 2016 to boost investor confidence.
Bernard Aw, market analyst at brokerage IG, said: "For now, it may seem like the tweaks that Beijing makes will continue to affect global market mood, while it continues to find its footing in calibrating the domestic capital markets."
Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading at 19,947.40, up 0.30%, while India's CNX Nifty was lower by 0.13% at 7,553.80. South Korea's KOSPI was trading at 1,896.07, up 0.06%. Japan's Nikkei 225, which was closed on 11 January, was trading at 17,350.60, down 1.96%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost early gains and was trading lower by 0.13% at 4,925.60.
Among commodities, oil prices, which have been on the decline following supply exceeding demand and the more recent tensions in the Middle East, were trading lower in Asian trading hours. While WTI Crude oil was trading lower by 1.37% at $30.98 a barrel, Brent Crude was down 1.27% at $31.15 a barrel.
Fereidun Fesharaki, the Iranian chairman of Facts Global Energy (FGE), recently said oil prices could further fall to $25 a barrel by March as Iran is expected to begin increasing its oil production soon, following the removal of international sanctions.