Most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Friday, 29 April, with China's Shanghai Composite Index down 0.31% at 2,936.53 as of 4.49am GMT. This followed a weak Wall Street close overnight amid mixed corporate results and poor US data on economic growth. The data indicated that the world's largest economy grew in the first quarter but at its slowest pace in two years.
Apart from the US angle, investors continued to be disappointed over the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) decision to keep monetary policy steady, contrary to expectations of further stimulus measures.
With regards to the BOJ's decision, Eric Stein, co-director of global fixed income at Eaton Vance said: "It was certainly surprising to me that they basically did nothing new, especially when there were market expectations for them to do something else on the equity purchases or other easing measures."
However, Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy for BK Asset Management, argued: "The Japanese feel no immediate pressure to use monetary policy or currency intervention to turn around the economy."
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 29 April at 5.04am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||21,089.43||Down||1.39%|
|Japan||Nikkei 225 (Holiday - Showa Day)|
Meanwhile, overnight (28 April), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,830.76, down 1.17%, while the FTSE 100 closed higher by 0.04% at 6,322.40.
Among commodities, oil prices which recently touched 2016 highs were trading marginally lower on account of profit-taking by traders. On 29 April, WTI crude oil was trading 0.09% lower at $45.99 (£31.39, €40.36) a barrel, while Brent was 0.02% lower at $48.13 a barrel at 5.13 am GMT.