While most Asian stock market indices were trading higher on Wednesday (11 January), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.64% at 3,141.51 as of 5.18am GMT, ahead of Donald Trump's first full press conference as president-elect scheduled later in the day.
Investors are said to be closely awaiting his speech to get clues on his future policies. They are keen to know if Trump would stick to his campaign promises of reducing taxes and increasing infrastructure spending.
"There are underlying expectations that Trump's tax cuts and infrastructure spending will boost the US economy, which should support markets…On the other hand, if he takes a hard line stance on China in line with his campaign promises, then China would probably take counter-measures, raising concerns about tensions between the US and China," Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Kathy Lien, MD of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management, said market reaction in the near term would depend on Trump's speech. "Trump will most likely repeat everything that he previously vowed to achieve while giving little details on specific policy actions. The question then becomes how the markets will react - will they be disappointed by the lack of specificity or encouraged by his pledge to spend," Lien was quoted as explaining by CNBC.
Economists, however, warned that Trump's protectionist measures could hurt both international trade and global growth. The World Bank has warned that global growth could be affected by Trump's future policies, which have protectionism tendencies.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.27am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,883.91||Up||0.61%|
On 10 January, the FTSE 100 Index closed 0.52% higher at 7,275.47, while the S&P 500 index closed unchanged at 2,268.90.
Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the green after having declined to their lowest levels in nearly a month on Tuesday. As of 12.18am EST, WTI crude oil was trading 0.28% higher at $50.96 (£41.89) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.15% higher at $53.72 a barrel.