Asian stocks set for lower open after Nasdaq declines; Treasury yields fall

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Asian stocks appeared set to pull back on the last day of the trading week, with futures pointing to a lower open for markets in Japan and Australia after U.S. markets closed mixed.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were lower by 0.43 percent compared to the index’s previous close. Australian SPI futures eased 0.13 percent at the end of the Thursday trading session.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.38 percent, or 95.02 points, to close at 25,241.41 while other major U.S. indexes finished the session lower. The S&P 500 shed 0.07 percent to close at 2,770.37 and the Nasdaq composite declined 0.7 percent to 7,635.07, bringing an end to its four-day winning streak as large-cap technology shares contributed to losses.

Trade developments continued to feature prominently, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross telling CNBC that a deal had been reached with Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE, which had been crippled after U.S. companies were blocked from selling to it.

The deal will impose a $1 billion penalty on ZTE, which will also need to install a U.S.-chosen compliance team, but is facing some pushback from U.S. lawmakers.

Also in focus was a sell-off in emerging markets, with Brazil leading declines. The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ), a U.S. exchange-traded fund tracking Brazilian stocks, dropped 5.13 percent.

Investors turned to bonds amid concerns over emerging markets, with U.S. government debt prices rising in the last session. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield declined to 2.92 percent from around 2.97 percent seen on Wednesday.

On the energy front, oil prices advanced as investors worried about a drop in Venezuelan exports. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.88 percent to settle at $65.95 per barrel and Brent crude futures added 2.6 percent to $77.32.

  • 7:50 a.m.: Japan first-quarter GDP
  • 11:00 a.m.: China trade data

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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