Asian stocks looked set for a mixed day in the absence of a solid lead-in from the U.S., with concern over Federal Reserve monetary policy and the global economic outlook continuing to occupy investors. Crude oil slipped below $46 a barrel.
Japanese futures fell with Australian stocks, while New Zealand equities climbed for a ninth straight day after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell just 0.1 percent Tuesday, closing little changed for a second session. The kiwi dollar held losses following a drop in dairy prices at a global auction. American crude declined as industry data indicated U.S. stockpiles surged last week, fueling concerns over the global glut. Copper futures fell a fourth day amid angst China’s slowdown will curb demand for industrial metals.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.3 percent in Wellington, extending its longest run of gains since November last year, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.5 percent in a second day of declines, led by banks. Futures on the Kospi index in Seoul were little changed in most recent trading. FTSE China A50 Index futures traded in Singapore climbed 0.3 percent with markets in Hong Kong are closed Wednesday for a holiday.
In Japan, Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures were bid for 18,180 in the Osaka pre-market, from 18,210 at their close Tuesday. Yen-denominated futures on the gauge dropped 0.1 percent in Chicago to 18,190, following a 0.3 percent drop in the previous session.