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Asia-Pacific stocks slip; oil drops more than 2%

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a mixed Thursday start, with Australia’s April trade data expected later in the day.

Futures pointed to a muted open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,450 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,460, against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,457.89.

Australian stocks looked poised to open lower, with the SPI futures contract at 7,181, as compared with the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,234.

Australia is set to release its April trade data at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.

Ahead of the data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7172, off levels above $0.72 seen recently.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 shed 0.75% to 4,101.23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 176.89 points, or 0.54%, to 32,813.23. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.72% to 11,994.46.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.498 after a recent jump from below 102.

The Japanese yen traded at 130.18 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 128 seen against the greenback earlier this week.

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