Asian equity markets are likely to kick off Thursday mixed, taking cues from a mostly lower close on Wall Street overnight. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index fell 0.5 percent at the open to hit a fresh four-week-low of 5,343, chalking up a fourth straight losing session.
Weak iron ore prices continue to pressure the resources sector. Fortescue Metals and BC Iron opened down 3.1 and 1.7 percent, respectively. “With iron ore holding onto the $70 handle by its fingernails, the dramatic falls in the material space is unlikely to slow down today,” wrote IG’s market strategist Evan Lucas in a note.
Trade in Japanese stock futures points to potential gains for the benchmark Nikkei 225 on Thursday. Futures in Chicago traded at 17,470, while those in Osaka were flat at 17,370; both above the index’s previous close of 17,288.