Wall Street ended mixed and the dollar tumbled ahead of Asia’s Thursday trading day.
U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday despite touching all-time highs earlier in the session. The moves came as markets focused on a mix of corporate earnings, trade war concerns and the broad decline in the U.S. currency.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.16 percent, or 41.31 points, to close at 26,252.12, the SP 500 edged down by 0.06 percent to finish the session at 2,837.54 and the Nasdaq composite declined 0.61 percent to end at 7,415.06.
Dollar extends losses
The dollar tumbled further overnight after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback was good for the country for trade-related reasons.
At 6:53 a.m. HK/SIN, the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of rivals, was lower by around 1 percent at 89.221. Against the yen, the dollar broke below the 110 handle to trade at 109.18, but was off Wednesday’s low of 108.95.
The euro, meanwhile, stood at $1.2397 after trading as high as $1.2415 earlier. The moves in the euro also came ahead of the European Central Bank’s interest rates decision on Thursday during Europe hours.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross later told CNBC that Mnuchin’s remarks should not be seen as advocacy for a weaker dollar. Ross also said there was a “good chance” that U.S. renegotiation efforts in NAFTA talks would turn out well.
Those developments came after President Donald Trump approved tariffs against imported solar cells and certain washing machines. The move, while seen as having a small economic impact for now, had raised some concerns over future trade moves in the region. South Korea and China also spoke out against the tariffs earlier in the week.
Futures point to lower open in Asia
In Asia, futures pointed to another lower open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were down 0.67 percent at 23,780 and Osaka futures were 0.88 percent lower at 23,730 compared to the benchmark’s previous close.
The Nikkei 225 had notched a fresh 26-year high earlier in the week, but closed in negative territory in the last session. Major exporters traded lower in the last session as the yen firmed against the dollar.
Down Under, the SP/ASX 200 edged down by 0.15 percent in early trade.
Several earnings reports are due on Thursday, with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix and Hyundai Motor expected to announce results later in the day.