Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Australia central bank rate decision ahead

  • Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Tuesday morning trade.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to announce its interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Tuesday morning as investors looked ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia's latest interest rate decision.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.66% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.59%. South Korea's Kospi hovered above the flatline.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 nudged fractionally higher.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.

Looking ahead, the Australian central bank is set to announce its interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

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Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 97.31 points to 34,838.16 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.18% to 4,387.16. The Nasdaq Composite edged fractionally higher to 14,681.07.

Concerns over Covid are weighing on investor sentiment. The CDC director said Monday that the seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed the peak seen last summer, when the country didn't have an authorized Covid-19 vaccine.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.049 after recently seeing levels below 92.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.26 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.5 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7361, having risen from below $0.735 yesterday.

Oil prices rose in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.32% to $73.12 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.27% to $71.45 per barrel.

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