Asian Markets mixed as weak oil prices continue to worry investors
Asian investors remain gripped by concerns that the US Fed could raise rates Reuters

Asian stock markets were mixed as weak oil prices continued to keep investors on the sidelines on 10 December. Oil prices rose marginally after the US government's Energy Information Administration said crude supply in the country declined by 3.6 million barrels.

China's Shanghai Composite Index was trading at 3,454.60, down 0.51%. The benchmark index fell despite Beijing announcing long-anticipated reforms relating to initial public offerings.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was trading lower by 0.23% at 21,753.63. Separately, the country's foreign exchange regulator said there was reason for depreciation of its currency despite modest falls in Beijing's foreign exchange reserves.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed lower by 0.84% at 5,037.70, marking a three-week low. Investor sentiment failed to get a boost from a strong jobs report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Unemployment for November fell to 5.8%, a tenth of a percentage point lower than October. as the economy created 71,400 jobs. This was far higher than market expectations of a decline of more than 10,000.

A hit to commodity firms coupled with a stronger yen led Japan's Nikkei 225 down by 1.32% at 19,046.55. In November Japan slid into recession for the fifth time in seven years.

Indices that were trading in the green were South Korea's Kospi and India's Nifty. While the former was at 1,952.07, up 0.2%, the latter was 7,635.40, higher by 0.29%.

Asian investors also remained gripped by concerns that the US Fed could raise rates. Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds Management in Sydney, said: "The process of taking money off the table is likely to be driven by nervousness ahead of the US Federal Reserve's moves next week, along with the soft oil price being viewed as a barometer of future economic activity".

Among commodities, WTI crude oil was up 0.78% at $37.45 a barrel and Brent crude was trading higher by 1.07% at $40.54 a barrel.