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China retail sales, unemployment, industrial production

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Drone point view of the Shanghai skyline at sunrise.

Aerialperspective Images | Moment | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets took 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.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.78% on open, while the broad-based Topix fell 0.33%.

South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.11% after the country’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.8% in April, while the small-cap Kosdaq dropped 1.66%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.49% at open.

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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