While Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on Thursday (25 August), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.88% at 3,058.72 as of 5.57am GMT. Traders are reportedly eager to listen to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday (26 August) at the annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, US.
Analysts said traders expect Yellen to provide clues about the US central bank's next move on interest rates.
"If there were to be shock from Yellen (it hasn't happened yet), it would be that she plays up risk of a rate rise at the 20/21 September Federal Open Market Committee meeting - an event currently ascribed only a 27% probability by the US rates markets," Ray Attrill, global co-head of foreign exchange strategy at the National Australia Bank, was quoted as saying by CNBC.
A few analysts expect Yellen to be more neutral in her speech. "I don't think the Fed will want to introduce market volatility in the run-up to the G20 meeting and she might strike a more neutral stance on interest rate policy," Gao Qi, an FX strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia in Singapore, was quoted as saying by Reuters. Qi was referring to the G20 leaders' summit in China in early September.
Indices in the rest of the region were trading as follows at 6.04am GMT
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,883.17||Up||0.27%|
Overnight (24 August), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,481.48, down 0.35%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,835.78, down 0.48%.
Among commodities, oil prices rebounded. While WTI crude oil was trading higher by 0.26% at $46.89 (£35.45) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.10% higher at $49.10 a barrel as of 6.12am GMT.