Pedestrians wait to cross a road in front of an electronic stock board displaying the closing figure of the Nikkei 225 Stock Average outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

Friday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares Mixed; U.S. GDP Data Eyed

Asian shares opened mixed while dollar strengthened as investors awaited U.S. growth data to assess the health of the world’s largest economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed after climbing for six straight sessions. U.S. stocks eked out minor gains on Thursday to close near all-time highs. Oil traded near $49 a barrel and is headed for a second monthly decline.

SGX Nifty futures indicate a flat start for Indian equities after the NSE Nifty 50 Index snapped three sessions of gains on Thursday.

U.S. GDP Data Eyed

U.S. economy is projected to expand at a 1 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the weakest pace in a year, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Politics will remain in focus ahead of the May 7 vote in France to elect the new president after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the first round of polls earlier this week.

The Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index closed near all-time highs on Thursday, boosted by strong corporate earnings.

Friday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares Mixed; U.S. GDP Data Eyed

Oil Poised For Weekly Fall

Oil climbed back above $49.20 per barrel, but is still set to close the month with losses, as expanding U.S. crude stockpiles offsets efforts by Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to counter supply glut.

U.S. output rose a tenth week to the highest since August 2015, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Friday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares Mixed; U.S. GDP Data Eyed

Flat Start?

SGX Nifty futures traded little changed at 9,364 as of 7:05 a.m., indicating a flat start for the Indian markets.

Shares fell on Thursday, the final day of April futures and options series, after the benchmarks scaled record highs on Wednesday.

Shares of Biocon Ltd. will be in focus today after the firm missed estimates in the fourth quarter.