Asian Equities Open Lower

Asian stock markets opened lower on the first trading day of the second quarter, following a weak close on Wall Street overnight.

Cautious sentiment also prevailed after a weaker-than-expected reading of sentiment among Japanese corporates. The headline big manufacturers index remained unchanged from the previous quarter at +12, below expectations for a reading of +14 in a Reuters poll, the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey showed on Wednesday.

Wednesday also sees the release of China’s official March manufacturing purchasing manager’s index (PMI), alongside HSBC’s final reading. A preliminary reading last week showed PMI sliding to an 11-month low due to shrinking new orders, so expectations for the final readings are low.