Asian stock markets traded mostly lower on Thursday, following a weak lead from Wall Street, and as China set its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target at 7 percent for 2015.
This will be the mainland's lowest growth target in 11 years, according to a speech by premier Li Keqiang at the annual National People's Congress (NPC), down from 7.5 percent last year - a sign of the government's increased focus on quality over quantity as it seeks to overhaul the country's growth model.
"I think the government doesn't want to come out and say that they are expecting 6 percent growth so they say about 7 percent, but they are clearly playing catch-up," Fraser Howie, managing director at Newedge Singapore, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia." "You will see more stimulus measures of various forms, which can be quite positive for the markets as you see more liquidity in the markets."
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed lower amid a series of economic data that continued to show moderate growth ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.6 percent, while the S&P 500 finished 0.4 percent lower. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.3 percent.