Asia-Pacific shares largely slip regardless of in a single day Wall Avenue highs

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower in Tuesday morning trade despite gains overnight on Wall Street that took the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to record closing highs.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.18% in morning trade while the Topix index slipped fractionally. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.57%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite hovering mildly higher while the Shenzhen component sat fractionally lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.17%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia, on the other hand, slipped 0.8%.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s August monetary policy meeting, released Tuesday, showed the central bank acknowledging that outbreaks of the delta variant and the accompanying lockdowns “had introduced a high degree of uncertainty to the outlook for the second half of 2021.”

Investors continue to monitor the Covid situation in Australia, with the country’s largest cities currently under lockdown.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.49% lower.

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Overnight stateside, the Dow jumped 110.02 points to 35,625.40 while the S&P 500 gained 0.26% to 4,479.71. The Nasdaq Composite lagged as it dipped 0.2% to 14,793.76.

Investors will look ahead to U.S. retail sales data, set to be released Tuesday stateside by the Census Bureau. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are calling for a 0.3% decline for last month, following June’s showed a surprise reading of a 0.6% jump.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.642 — still struggling to recover from a recent drop from above 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.24 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.5 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7308, following yesterday’s drop from above $0.735.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.36% to $69.76 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.4% to $67.56 per barrel.

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