Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on Thursday (8 September), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.15% at 3,087.17 as of 6.23am GMT, ahead of a regular policy meeting of the European Central Bank, which is slated to be held later in the day.
An analyst poll conducted by Reuters showed that most of them expected interest rates to remain unchanged. However, analysts were quite uncertain if the ECB would extend its €80bn (£67.53bn) monthly asset buys. Such an extension is said to reinforce speculation of more monetary easing before the year-end.
China announced its trade data which shows that imports increased 1.5% year-on-year in August, marking the first annual rise since late 2014; exports, however, declined 2.8%. While this was better than forecasts, it received muted reaction from traders.
"The improvement in imports is mostly a reflection of stronger domestic demand. Chinese companies are restocking, and also are now expecting prices to start rising...We expect exports to stay stable and imports to improve as higher prices spread to more products," Wang Jianhui, an economist at Capital Securities, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6.41am GMT
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,840.34||Up||0.42%|
Overnight (7 September), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,526.14, down 0.06%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,846.58, up 0.30%.
Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the green. This follows the American Petroleum Institute reporting that the country saw the largest weekly stock declines in over 30 years, according to CNBC. While WTI crude oil was trading higher by 1.60% at $46.23 (£34.67) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 1.29% higher at $48.60 a barrel as of 6.49am GMT.