Asian Markets Mixed, Australia Central Bank Keeps Cash Rate Unchanged
Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors reacted to the Australian central bank’s interest rate decision.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.16% to close at 28,643.21, while the Topix index advanced 0.28% to end the trading day at 1,954.50. Over in South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.36% on the day to 3,305.21.
Mainland Chinese stocks, on the other hand, closed lower. The Shanghai composite slipped 0.11% to 3,530.26, while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.347% to about 14,667.65. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell around 0.2% as of its final hour of trading.
Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.73% lower at 7,261.80.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose about 0.1%.
The Reserve Bank of Australia announced Tuesday its decision to keep the cash rate target at 0.1%. Following that announcement, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7583, still above levels below $0.752 seen yesterday.
Shares of Asia-Pacific firms in the oil space rose on Tuesday trade, with Australia’s Beach Energy rising 1.96% while Santos gained 0.41%. Shares of Inpex in Japan also jumped 1.78%. In Hong Kong, shares of CNOOC climbed 1.56% as of their final hour of trading.
Asian Markets Currencies and Oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.04 — off levels above 92.4, seen late last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 110.89 per dollar after an earlier low of 110.97 against the greenback.
Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours. U.S. crude futures jumped 1.98% to $76.65 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.31% to $77.40 per barrel.