Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on Wednesday (8 February), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.11% at 3,149.47 as of 5.28am GMT after an overnight decline in oil prices.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed an increase in crude inventory with US stockpiles rising by 14.2 million barrels last week. This put pressure on oil prices, which in turn is said to have had a negative impact on investor sentiment.
Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said he expected the pressure on crude prices to remain. "Clearly increased shale production is now taking its toll," he was quoted as saying by CNBC.
Some analysts said investors' confidence in equity markets had taken a hit over doubts surrounding US President Donald Trump's economic policies and the looming election in France.
"The markets are now paying attention to political risks in Europe and the United States, after a rally earlier this week following the strong US payrolls data," Kenta Tadaide, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, added:"Corporate earnings have been pretty good so far. But without details of Trump's economic policies, it is hard to become bullish."
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.38am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,367.10||Up||0.15%|
On 7 February, the FTSE 100 Index closed 0.20% higher at 7,186.22, while the S&P 500 index closed 0.02% higher at 2,293.08.
Among commodities, oil prices continued to decline on Wednesday. Halley said: "The herd, already nervous from the previous day's price action, turned en masse and ran off the cliff." As of 12.31am EST, WTI crude oil was down 1.13% at $51.58 (£41.26) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.78% lower at $54.62 a barrel.