October 27, 2020

Asia Pacific stocks rise; Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate decision awaited

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded higher Tuesday morning as investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision on interest rates.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia surged 2.15%. Australia’s retail sales data for June rose 2.7% month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That was higher than expectations of a 2.4% increase in a Reuters poll.

Japanese stocks, which led gains among the region’s major markets on Monday, also continued to move upward in Tuesday morning trade. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.39% while the Topix index advanced 1.62%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.37%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed in early trade, with Shanghai composite fractionally higher while the Shenzhen component dipped slightly.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.93% higher.

Investors awaited the Australian central bank’s rate decision, expected to be announced around 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday. That comes as social distancing measures have been ramped up in the Australian state of Victoria to contain the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, lawmakers stateside remained at an impasse regarding the next coronavirus stimulus package, with the main sticking point continuing to be the federal boost to unemployment assistance.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.5% to an all-time high, ending its trading day at 10,902.80.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.583 after earlier seeing levels around 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.17 per dollar after weakening from levels around 105.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7117 after falling below $0.71 yesterday.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.54% to $43.91 per barrel. The U.S. crude futures also dipped 0.49% to $40.81 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN

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