Australian shares are set to open lower, after all major US benchmarks closed in the red.

ASX futures were down 0.3% or 30 points as of 8:00am on Wednesday, suggesting a lower open.

US stocks ended the day lower on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 was down 0.7. at 5,205.81 The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.0% 39,170.24. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 1.0% to 16,240.45.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil was up 2.1% to US$89.23 a barrel, while gold was up 1.3% at US$2,280.67.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds was down at 3.70% while the 10 Year yield was up at 4.07%. US Treasury notes were mixed, with the 2 Year yield down at 4.69% and the 10 Year yield up at 4.35%.

The Australian dollar was 65.14 US cents up from its previous close of 64.89. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies, was down at 99.24.


Chinese shares ended lower after rising for three straight sessions. Software and tech hardware stocks led the losses. Beijing Kingsoft Office dropped 1.8% and iFlytek was 1.5% lower. Foxconn Industrial Internet declined 1.8% and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology shed 2.0%. Real estate shares fell broadly as well, led by China Vanke, as investors reacted to its disappointing 2023 results amid lingering concerns about the property sector. Energy stocks rose on the escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict, with PetroChina up 2.3%. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.1% lower at 3074.96, the Shenzhen Composite Index shed 0.5% and the ChiNext Price Index slid 0.6%.

Hong Kong shares closed higher on the first trading day after the Easter holiday. The Hang Seng Index rose 2.4% to 16931.52 and the Hang Seng Tech Index gained 1.9%. China reported solid March PMI data over the weekend, signaling that the economy's recovery may be on track. Among major stocks, BOC Hong Kong was up 9.55%, while Xiaomi jumped 9.0% after the launch of its first EV last week. Decliners included NetEase, down 6.9%, and Longfor Group, which was 1.45% lower.

The Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.1% higher at 39838.91 as gains in chip stocks helped offset losses in retail and shipping shares. Tokyo Electron Ltd. gained 3.4% and Renesas Electronics climbed 3.3% while Aeon Co. dropped 2.2% and Kawasaki Kisen lost 2.4%. Broader market index Topix fell 0.2% to 2714.45. Investors are focusing on economic data and their policy implications. The 10-year Japanese government bond yield rose half a basis point to 0.745%.

India's Sensex closed 0.15% lower at 73903.91, weighed by finance stocks. Kotak Mahindra Bank fell 1.8%, while ICICI Bank was 1.5% lower and Bajaj Finance shed 0.6%. Gainers included Mahindra & Mahindra, which rose 2.95%, Nestle India, which was 1.4% higher, and Tata Motors, which added 1.2%. Among individual movers, Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail jumped 12% following news that it is considering listing its Madura Fashion & Lifestyle business. Bajaj Auto ended 2.6% higher after its March sales climbed 25% on year.


European shares closed lower, with the STOXX Europe 600 Index falling 0.18% to 508.57, the CAC 40 Index slipping 0.9% to 8,130.05, and the DAX dropped 1.1% to 18,283.13.

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.20% at 7938 points on Tuesday despite rising earlier in the session, with a rise in manufacturing activity reigniting inflation concerns. "The U.K. stock market continued where it left off before the Easter break and briefly made a new 14-month high above the 8,000 mark despite disappointing U.K. house price data before ending the day flat," said Axel Rudolph, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG. Reckitt Benckiser Group, Entain, and Ocado Group were the session's biggest fallers, down 5.2%, 5% and 4.2%, respectively. Fresnillo was the day's highest riser, up 7.6%, followed by Anglo American and Shell, up 4.6% and 3.5% respectively.

North America

US stocks ended the day lower on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 was down 0.7. at 5,205.81 The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.0% 39,170.24. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 1.0% to 16,240.45.