While most Asian stock market indices were trading higher on Thursday (2 March), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.10% at 3,243.75 as of 6.13am GMT following positive Wall Street close overnight.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index crossed the 21,000-point mark for the first time. The Dow along with the S&P 500 index closed higher by about 1.4% amid President Donald Trump's recent speech to Congress and the US Federal Reserve hinting at increasing interest rates as early as this month.
This, along with the recent JP Morgan global manufacturing PMI hitting a six-year high, is said to have improved investors' confidence in both the US and global economy.
Commenting on Trump's speech, ING said: "Trumpflation may be a misnomer. The uptick in manufacturing predates the election. It continued in February. It's better to be lucky than good. We think President Trump may be lucky in holding office when the overhang of debt and fear from the global financial crisis lifts."
An unnamed European bank trader was cited by Reuters as saying: "The US economy is strong enough to allow the Fed to raise rates. And then we are going to have one trillion dollars in public spending. Under such conditions, we are likely to see a gradual rise in U.S. stocks, with volatility remaining low, until the Fed overkills the economy."
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6.33am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,863.56||Up||0.37%|
On 1 March the FTSE 100 closed 1.64% higher at 7,382.90 while the S&P 500 index closed 1.37% higher at 2,395.96.
Among commodities, oil prices declined amid higher US crude inventories. As of 1.25am EST, WTI crude oil was down 0.50% at $53.56 (£43.61) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.37% lower at $56.15 a barrel.