While Asian stock market indices were trading in a mixed pattern on 12 May, China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.32% at 2,827.87 as of 6am GMT. This followed a negative close on Wall Street overnight amid disappointing corporate earnings results announced by a few companies such as Disney and Macy's.
These weak results were seen by investors to have a negative impact on Asian exporters. Investors seemed to expect a cut in exporters' profits going forward. Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse, said: "We're beginning to see that guidance from exporters have been on many occasions quite shocking, forecasting in some cases declines in profit of 20 to 50 percent in the coming year."
Going forward, the concern for investors is the potential increase in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve. A call on this is expected to be taken by the central bank in its June policy meeting. Jennifer Vail, head of fixed-income research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said: "They (the Fed) really want to raise the policy rate so that they have some flexibility should the domestic economy need it, but given this highly unusual slow-growth environment, it's been difficult for there to be clear signals that it can digest policy normalization."
Meanwhile, indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 12 May at 6.11am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||19,979.21||Down||0.38%|
Meanwhile, overnight (11 May), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,711.12, down 1.21%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,162.49, up 0.09%.
Among commodities, oil prices touched new highs overnight after the US government said the inventory of the commodity had fallen for the first time since March. The commodity however, gave up its gains later on. On 12 May, WTI crude oil was trading 0.17% lower at $46.15 (£31.96, €40.40) a barrel, while Brent was trading 0.29% lower at $47.46 a barrel at 6.22am GMT.