Asian Markets Mixed After Wall Street Gains
All three Wall Street benchmark indexes closed higher on Monday, lead by gains in the technology and industrials sectors, as traders geared themselves up for another week of earnings reports, which they are hoping will continue to carry the markets.
The S&P 500 closed up 0.68 percent, the NASDAQ ended 1.15 percent higher, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.70 percent. Asian stock markets attempted to follow Wall Street higher but were trading mixed by Tuesday afternoon. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.19 percent as of 1:52 p.m. HK/SIN and South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.06 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.21 percent and Australia’s ASX 200 enjoyed the highest gains, trading 1.95 percent higher. Asian trading saw low volatility, in part due to the Chinese Lunar New Year which is being celebrated all week, keeping Chinese markets closed.
On the currency markets, the dollar struggled to hold onto gains, trading mostly flat by the early afternoon in Asia. The dollar index stood at 95.83 .DXY, and the greenback was trading down 0.04 percent against the yen, to 109.84 after climbing above the 110 level overnight. The dollar was unchanged against the British pound and the euro.
The Australian dollar saw the biggest slide on Tuesday, falling 0.3 percent after weak retail data was released. The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to release a policy statement later on Tuesday, and its Governor, Philip Lowe, is expected to speak on Wednesday about the state of the country’s economy. The RBA is expected to keep interest rates at their current record lows.