While Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on Friday (23 September), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.17% at 3,037.11 as of 5.50am GMT amid lack of any notable data release post the conclusion of the policy meetings of both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan (BoJ).

Both the central banks decided to keep interest rates steady. While this had led to gains in the Asian markets in previous trading sessions, on Friday analysts said the markets appeared to be searching for direction.

"After a week of key risk events, Friday brings a breather to markets, with little in the way of significant data flow," Tapas Strickland, an economist with the National Australia Bank was quoted as saying by CNBC.

Commenting on the decision taken by the central banks, Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital, said: "Central banks] want higher growth and more inflation ... they don't want to upset things, given uneven and fragile global growth." He added that equity investors could expect a positive environment in the short-term amid expectations that global monetary policy will remain "easy for some time yet."

For next week, stock market movements are expected to be dependent on the first US Presidential Debate scheduled for Monday (26 September).

Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6.10am GMT:

Hong KongHang Seng Index23,732.36Down0.12%
JapanNikkei 22516,745.63Down0.37%
South KoreaKOSPI2,050.18Up0.02%
IndiaCNX Nifty8,866.95Down0.01%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,431.30Up1.06%

Overnight (22 September), the FTSE 100 closed 1.12% higher at 6,911.40, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.54% at 18,392.46.

Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the red. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 1.1% at $45.81 (£35.1) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.80% lower at $47.27 a barrel as of 6.17am GMT.