Asian Markets

Asian Markets Mixed as RBA Maintains Policy Settings.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday, after major indexes on Wall Street surged to record closing highs overnight stateside.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 1.3% to close at 29,696.63 while the Topix index dropped 1.47% to finish its trading day at 1,954.34. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.2% higher at 3,127.08.

Asian Markets
The Nikkei 225 index, one year performance chart.

Major stock indexes in mainland Chinese stocks were lower on the day, with the Shanghai composite slipping slightly to 3,482.97 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.278% to 14,083.34.

China’s services sector activity grew in March, according to a private sector survey released Tuesday. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for March came in at 54.3, as compared to February’s reading of 51.5.

PMI readings above 50 represent expansion while those below that level signify contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.84% to close at 6,885.90. The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday announced its decision to maintain its policy settings. That included keeping its cash rate at 0.1%, largely in line with expectations of analysts in a Reuters poll.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.33%.

Markets in Hong Kong were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 373.98 points record closing high of 33,527.19. The S&P 500 also saw a record close as it rose 1.44% to 4,077.91. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.67% to finish its trading day at 13,705.59.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.692 following an earlier low of 92.531.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.38 per dollar, weaker than levels around 109.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7627 following an earlier high of $0.766.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.92% to $62.72 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.09% to $59.29 per barrel.

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