Asia Markets Mixed; Futures Point to Positive Opening

Asia markets were mixed on Thursday as oil prices continued to fall after U.S. inventories data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show a rise in crude stocks.

West Texas intermediate was recently 0.82% down to $41.37 and Brent crude lost 0.54% at $43.81 a barrel.

Dow Jones Industrial Average mini futures were up 0.12% and S&P 500 mini futures gained 0.06%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.5% to sit at 22,604.70.

On mainland China, the CSI 300 was at 3,233.47 down 0.30%.

China Mobile (CHL) gained 1.82% in Hong Kong after reporting revenue beat expectations in the first half of the year. The state-owned telecoms group saw net revenue rise to 60.6 billion Chinese renminbi ($9.12 billion), beating analysts' expectations of Rmb58.5 billion. The growth was attributed to increased demand for data services.

Revenue from data services jumped to Rmb195 billion compared with Rmb14 billion a year earlier.

Japanese markets were closed today for a new public holiday - Mountain Day. Japan has the most public holidays in the G8, as they try to encourage people to take more holidays.

In Seoul, the Kospi gained 0.20% after the Bank of Korea left its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 1.25%.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Thursday cut its benchmark rate to 2% and said there was potential for further quantitative easing.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.64% to close at 5,508.02.

Australia's biggest telecom provider Telstra (TLSYY) saw shares fall 1.61% after it announced it would buy back A$1.5 billion worth of shares and invest A$3 billion ($1.15 billion) in networks in the next three years. The buyback is funded by a surplus in cash and profits from the sale of a stake in Chinese online car sales business Autohome.