While most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Friday (26 August), the Shanghai Composite was up 0.19% at 3,074.28 as of 6.01am GMT. The general bearish trend in Asia reflected nervousness among traders ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech scheduled for Friday, 26 August.
Yellen will speak at an economic policy symposium in Wyoming, US. She is expected to provide a hint on increase in interest rates in the near-term. An increase in rates, traders believe, could divert liquidity from the stock markets.
"After a week where most markets have barely moved from where they started, there are likely a number of traders who would relish a bit of volatility this evening. There certainly is a fear evident in markets that Janet Yellen is going to be surprisingly hawkish and talk up a September hike," Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The Nikkei took the biggest beating amid poor consumer prices data reported by Japan's Statistics Bureau. Japan's core consumer prices excluding fresh food declined 0.5% on-year in July. This was more than the 0.4% decline that was expected, according to CNBC.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6.59am GMT
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,919.31||Up||0.46%|
Overnight (25 August), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,448.41, down 0.18%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,816.90, down 0.28%.
Among commodities, oil prices slipped after gaining overnight. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.30% at $47.19 (£35.67) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.48% lower at $49.43 a barrel as of 7.09am GMT.