Asian Markets Flat as Futures Suggest Mixed Day on Wall Street

HONG KONG — Jittery investors in Asia looked on Wednesday for any sign of an end to turmoil on Wall Street, where the market is poised for its worst December since the Great Depression. But the Christmas break in the United States gave them little to work with, and most Asian markets finished the day flat or down slightly.

Futures markets suggested Wall Street would be in for a mixed day as it resumed trading after the holiday, despite President Trump’s assertion that the stock market rout — which is nearing bear market territory — presented a “tremendous opportunity to buy.”

Traders may be more focused on the steady outflow of government officials from Mr. Trump’s administration and concerns that he may fire Steven Mnuchin, even as he expressed confidence in the treasury secretary on Tuesday.

Many European markets were closed for the holidays.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.9 percent, but other major Asian markets were down slightly.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.3 percent, and the Shenzhen Composite fell 0.4 percent.

The Kospi index in South Korea fell 1.3 percent, and the Taiex in Taiwan fell 0.5 percent.