While most Asian stock market indices traded higher on 4 August (Thursday), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.10% at 2,975.33 as of 6.32am GMT, amid investor expectations that the Bank of England would cut interest rates to record lows.
Investors expect the UK's central bank to cut rates to 0.25%, the first cut since 2009. It comes at a time when reports suggest that Britain's economy could witness a mild recession by the end of 2017, following the Brexit vote.
"Given the market has a 25 basis-point cut priced at 100%, one would expect a huge spike in GBP/USD if they fail to ease. But the real issue is whether they cut by 50 basis points and give a strong indication of (quantitative easing) in the September meeting," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The confidence among investors also received a boost after oil prices rebounded from four-month lows. "Oil has once again established itself as the central thematic behind the world's financial markets and the fact we saw such a powerful reversal at the trend low, despite dollar strength, has driven a slight uplift in sentiment," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, was quoted as saying by CNBC.
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 4 August at 6.44am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||21,851.13||UP||0.52%|
Overnight (3 August), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,355.00, up 0.23%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,634.40, down 0.17%
Among commodities, oil prices were in the green. While WTI crude oil was trading higher by 0.29% at $40.95 (£30.81; €36.78) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.12% higher at $43.15 a barrel as of 6.47am GMT.