Most Asian stock market indices were trading mixed on Friday (9 September), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.52% at 3,079.92 as of 6.58am GMT, following a nuclear test by North Korea and what traders considered a disappointing policy meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) overnight.

Pyongyang is said to have conducted a "nuclear warhead explosion" in response to "US hostility". While this was reportedly the country's largest nuclear test, it is said to have led to a 5.3-magnitude earthquake on Friday (9 September).

Traders were also disappointed with the ECB policy meeting which was held on Thursday (8 September). While the central bank kept interest rates steady as expected, it surprised everyone by announcing that it would not extend the deadline of its bond-buying programme.

"Yesterday's no-change stance, however, does not diminish the need for further easing... But there was no explicit mention of fresh measures under consideration, spurring a knee-jerk negative reaction in the markets," Radhika Rao, an economist at DBS Bank, was quoted as saying by CNBC.

Indices in the region were trading as follows at 7.10am GMT

Country

Index

Price

Up/Down

%Change

Hong Kong

Hang Seng Index

24,172.77

Up

1.06%

Japan

Nikkei 225

16,965.76

Up

0.04%

South Korea

KOSPI

2,037.87

Down

1.25%

India

CNX Nifty

8,871.50

Down

0.90%

Australia

S&P/ASX 200

5,339.20

Down

0.87%

Overnight (8 September), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,479.91, down 0.25%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,858.70, up 0.18%.

Among commodities, oil prices pulled back after touching a two-week high on Thursday (8 September). While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 1.18% at $47.06 (£35.36) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 1.26% lower at $49.36 a barrel as of 7.16am GMT.