SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly lower in Tuesday morning trading, despite overnight gains on Wall Street that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to record highs.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.18% in morning trade, while the Topix index fell marginally. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.57%.
Mainland stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite slightly higher and the Shenzhen component slightly below. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.17%.
The S & P / ASX 200 in Australia, on the other hand, lost 0.8%.
Minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy meeting in August, released on Tuesday, showed that the central bank acknowledged that delta breakouts and associated lockouts “brought a high level of uncertainty to the outlook for the second half of 2021 to have”.
Investors continue to monitor the Covid situation in Australia, with the country’s largest cities currently on lockdown.
MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan was down 0.49%.
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Overnight in the US, the Dow rose 110.02 points to 35,625.40 while the S&P 500 rose 0.26% to 4,479.71. The Nasdaq Composite lagged as it fell 0.2% to 14,793.76.
Investors will be looking at US retail sales, due to be released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau. Economists polled by Dow Jones are calling for a 0.3% decline for the past month after a surprising increase of 0.6% in June.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, came in at 92.642 – it’s still struggling to recover from a recent drop above 92.8.
The Japanese yen was trading at 109.24 per dollar, stronger than yesterday above 109.5 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7308 after falling above $ 0.735 yesterday.
Oil prices were higher on the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude oil futures rising 0.36% to $ 69.76 a barrel. US crude oil futures rose 0.4% to $ 67.56 a barrel.