Asian Equities Expected Lower after U.S. Lead

Asian equities will likely open lower on Thursday, following a flat lead from Wall Street amid fresh worries over the state of the U.S. economy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 could head down at the open, as Chicago and Osaka futures traded at 19,675 and 19,680, both below the index’s previous close of 19,764.  Australian shares are expected to see a weak start. Local futures notched down 0.4 percent to 5,684, a 31-point discount to the underlying S&P ASX 200 index.

Overnight, U.S. major indexes gave up early gains to close narrowly mixed as investors remained wary of climbing bond yields and flat retail sales for April. The tech-heavy Nasdaq settled 0.1 percent higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 finished marginally below the flatline.