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China retail sales, unemployment, industrial production

Drone point view of the Shanghai skyline at sunrise.

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Asia-Pacific markets were set to take a breather after rallying in the previous session, as investors await key China data to assess the state of the world’s second largest economy.

China data, including new house prices, urban unemployment and retail sales figures for April, is due later in the day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a two-day state visit to China, said at a press conference that discussions had been “warm and comradely” and had shown the importance of the two countries’ relationship. 

Singapore will also release its non-oil domestic export figures for April, with NODX expected to fall 10% year on year.

Futures for the S&P/ASX 200 point to a weaker open, at 7,875 compared to their last close of 7,881.3.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was also set to fall, with the futures contract in Chicago at 38,620 and its Osaka counterpart at 38,530, against the index’s last close of 38,920.26.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 19,562, pointing to a stronger open compared to the HSI’s close of 19,376.53.

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed slightly lower, after briefly jumping above 40,000 for the first time.

The blue-chip index hit a high of 40,051.05. It had neared the 40,000 mark earlier this year before a slight April pullback on worries over high interest rates.

During the session, the S&P 500 also climbed to a new record after closing above the 5,300 level for the first time ever on Wednesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also hit an all-time high.

The 30-stock Dow ended the day down 0.1% at 39,869.38. The S&P 500 fell 0.21%, while the Nasdaq Composite finished the day 0.26% lower.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel and Lisa Kailai Han contributed to this report.

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