Asian markets mixed after Wall Street's gains as trade concerns linger

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday, with Japan’s benchmark the only index edging higher in the morning.

Nikkei 225 gained 0.54 percent and the broader Topix edged up by 0.4 percent. Technology names traded higher in the morning, as did steelmakers, while the mining and oil sectors declined.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s benchmark Kospi was tepid in morning trade. The index last traded flat as automakers and banks declined. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics slipped 0.39 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.49 percent amid broad-based losses. The energy subindex fell 1.2 percent after the overnight fall in oil prices, leading declines in the morning.

MSCI’s broad index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan hovered around the flat line, last trading lower by 0.04 percent.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq composite posting a record close — its first since March 12. The index rose 0.69 percent to end at 7,606.46 as technology names advanced, with Apple and Amazon notching record closing highs.

Other major stock indexes also recorded gains, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 0.72 percent, or 178.48 points, to close at 24,813.69. Those gains followed the release of expectation-surpassing U.S. jobs numbers on Friday.

Meanwhile, investors continued to keep an eye on lingering trade concerns after the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, while coming away with no major breakthroughs from the most recent round of trade talks with China.

That comes in the lead-up to a meeting of world leaders at the G-7 summit in Canada this week.

“Ahead of this, markets will be looking to see multilateral co-operation on economic issues in the light of recent anxieties about trade,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

In foreign exchange, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, stood at 94.049. Against the yen, the dollar was firmer at 109.96 at 8:00 a.m. HK/SIN.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar held onto overnight gains to trade at $ 0.7653, buoyed by strong economic releases and an improvement in investor sentiment.

On the commodities front, oil prices recovered some losses after sliding in the last session on expectations that OPEC members would increase production.

Brent crude futures tacked on 0.13 percent to $ 75.39 per barrel after settling 2 percent lower on Monday. U.S. crude futures edged up by 0.42 percent to $ 65.02 after settling at an eight-week low in the last session.

Here’s the economic calendar for Tuesday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 9:45 a.m.: China Caixin services PMI
  • 12:30 p.m.: Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate decision

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