Fed’s Janet Yellen says US still on track for more rate hikesIBTimes UK

While Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on 26 May, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.45% at 2,802.39 as of 6.07am GMT. This followed a positive close on the Wall Street overnight and Brent Crude prices managed to cross the $50 a barrel for the first time since November 2015.

However, Asian investors seemed to be concerned over the increase in US interest rates, which could happen as early as June. Shuji Shirota, associate director at HSBC in Tokyo said, "The market's focus is returning to the Fed, given rising expectations that they could hike rates much earlier than expected. That is weighing on many emerging markets as well."

Apart from interest rates, China's slowing economy is also said to have kept Asian investors on the sidelines. "The market environment is not bad overall. Oil prices are rising, which would benefit oil producing countries. But Asia may be hurt by concerns about the Chinese economy", Shirota said.

Indices in rest of Asia traded as follows on 26 May at 6.24am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index20,355.37Down0.06%
JapanNikkei 22516,772.46Up0.09%
South KoreaKOSPI1,957.06Down0.18%
IndiaCNX Nifty7,973.15Up0.48%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,388.10Up0.29%
Asian markets: Shanghai Composite slips as Brent crude prices cross $50 a barrel
Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on 26 May 2016Reuters

Overnight (25 May), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,851.51, up 0.82%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,262.85, up 0.70%.

Among commodities, oil prices got a boost after US Energy Information Administration, a government agency responsible for providing the official energy statistics, said crude inventories fell 4.2 million barrels in the week to 20 May. On 26 May, WTI crude oil was trading 0.65% higher at $49.88 (£33.90, €44.63) a barrel, while Brent was trading 0.72% higher at $50.10 a barrel at 6.33am GMT.