While Asian stock market indices traded in a mixed pattern, China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.55% at 3,036.27 on 6 April at 5.58am. This followed a weak close overnight on the Wall Street and the Footsie.
The Shanghai Composite was in the red despite data indicating that activity in China's service sector strengthened in March. The Caixin services purchasing managers' index, a nationwide gauge of manufacturing activity with a focus on smaller and medium-sized companies, was 52.2 for March. While this was more than February's 51.2, a reading above 50 is considered as expansion.
Alex Wolf, emerging markets economist at Standard Life Investments, argued that this it was still too early to conclude that the world's second largest economy had stabilised. He said this was because the recent economic activity was boosted by quasi-fiscal spending and there were still a lot of negatives in the country such as the excess supply of property inventories. "A rebound based on property exuberance and quasi-fiscal stimulus means it might be more transient than the market wants to believe," Wolf said.
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 6 April at 6.10am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,196.50||Up||0.10%|
Meanwhile, overnight on 5 April, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,603.32, down 0.75%, while the FTSE 100 closed lower by 1.19% at 6,091.23.
Among commodities, oil prices saw an uptick on renewed hopes of an output freeze by oil producing nations. Kuwait said major oil producers were likely to agree later in April to put a limit on the quantity of oil they would produce, despite Iran continuing to be unwilling to do the same. On 6 April, WTI Crude oil was up 2.54% at $36.80(£26.02,€32.40) a barrel, while Brent was trading higher by 1.77% at $38.54 a barrel at 6.21am GMT.