Stateside, stocks closed slightly lower due to soft performance from financials and concerns over inflation after the Fed’s Beige Book was released. The Dow Jones industrial average finished the session down 0.1 percent or 20.82 points at 21,008.65, the S&P 500 edged lower by 0.05 percent or 1.11 points to close at 2,411.8 and the Nasdaq shed 0.08 percent to end at 6,198.52.

Following the release of the Beige Book on Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.199 percent. The 10-year yield later climbed back to 2.2063 percent.

In economic news, Australia retail sales for the month of April are expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. Markets are also likely to focus on Caixin manufacturing PMI figures for China due 9:45 a.m.

The dollar traded against a basket of six major currencies at 96.983, softer than levels around the 97 handle seen last week. The dollar was mostly steady against the yen, with the greenback fetching 110.82 yen at 6:01 a.m. HK/SIN. This was lower than the 111 handle seen last week.

Meanwhile, the British pound recovered slightly after falling to a near one-month low earlier in the week. The pound traded at $1.2871 at 6:40 a.m. HK/SIN.

Oil prices fell 3 percent following an increase in production numbers out of Libya. U.S. crude tumbled 2.7 percent to settle at $48.32 a barrel while Brent crude settled 3 percent lower at $50.31.

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