Asia Pacific markets traded mixed with energy sectors under pressure after oil prices extended their losing streak during the U.S. session.
Australian ASX 200 was down 0.24 percent, with the energy sector dropping 0.51 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was off by 0.24 percent in early trade, while the Korean Kospi gained 0.22 percent.
Oil stocks in the region were mostly down. Santos shares were down 0.70 percent, Oil Search was off by 1.77 percent and Woodside Petroleum lost 0.78
In Japan, shares of Index were down 0.05 percent while Japan Petroleum slipped 0.68 percent. Fuji Oil and South Korea’s S-Oil bucked the trend to climb 0.52 percent and 0.12 percent respectively.
Oil prices fell more than 1 percent in the U.S. session on Wednesday. U.S. crude futures fell 1.6 percent to finish at $49.18 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 1.6 percent to $49.98.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.06 points or 0.17 percent to 18,199.33. The S&P 500 fell 3.73 points or 0.17 percent to 2,139.43, while Nasdaq dropped 33.13 points or 0.63 percent, to close at 5,250.27.
The dollar held steady near a three-month high against the yen on Thursday, as rises in U.S. bond yields and expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year helped underpin the greenback.
The dollar last stood at 104.49 yen JPY=. Earlier on Thursday, it rose to as high as 104.695 yen, nearing a three-month peak of 104.875 yen set on Tuesday.
The dollar Index .DXY edged up 0.1 percent to 98.692, staying below a nine-month high of 99.119 set on Tuesday.
Sterling eased 0.3 percent to $1.2213 GBP=D3, but remained above an 18-day low of $1.2082 plumbed on Tuesday.The euro eased 0.1 percent to $1.0900 EUR=, but held above a 7-1/2 month low of $1.0851 struck on Tuesday.