Asian index futures signaled a mixed day for the region’s stocks, with mainland Chinese markets returning to the fray after missing the global equity rally due to a week-long holiday.

While futures on South Korea stocks climbed with Australian and New Zealand shares, a two-day gain in the yen dimmed prospects for Japanese equities and Hong Kong futures also retreated. Chinese markets, which were at the epicenter of August’s global turmoil, will trade for the first time since Sept. 30, with stocks around the world posting their longest rally since April in Shanghai’s absence and emerging-market assets soaring. Oil resumed gains after an increase in U.S. supplies sent it below $48 a barrel.

New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.3 percent in Wellington, while the S&P/ASX 200 Index in neighboring Australia rose 0.3 percent. Contracts on the Kospi index in Seoul foreshadowed gains of 0.8 percent, while those on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Hang Seng China Enterprises indexes dropped at least 0.3 percent.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.2 percent to 18,340 by 3 a.m. in Osaka, with the yen strengthening 0.4 percent over the past two days. The currency was little changed early Thursday at 119.97 per dollar. Yen-denominated futures on the Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent to 18,355 in Chicago, after rising 1 percent last session.

The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares exchange-traded fund, the largest U.S. ETF tracking Chinese stocks, jumped 2.8 percent Wednesday and has climbed 6.7 percent this month.

Source : Bloomberg