Home Interest rate Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as oil surged; RBA Rate Decision Upcoming

Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as oil surged; RBA Rate Decision Upcoming

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SINGAPORE — Equities in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday morning trading as investors anticipate the latest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.1% while the Topix index lost 0.35%.

The South Korean Kospi fell slightly. Elsewhere, Australian stocks rose as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.76%.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.34%. Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China are closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan traded up 0.15%.

Oil prices were higher in morning trading hours in Asia on Tuesday, with international benchmark Brent futures up 1.54% at $109.19 a barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 1.55% to $104.88 a barrel.

Oil prices jumped on Monday as investors braced for the prospect of new Western sanctions against Russia over allegations of civilian massacres near Ukrainian towns.

New European Union sanctions against Russia are expected to include steel, luxury, jet fuel and more, sources told CNBC. The bloc, however, remains divided on whether to extend these sanctions to energy imports.

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Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to announce its latest interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

Prior to the move, the Aussie dollar changed hands at $0.7539, following yesterday’s jump below $0.75.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 climbed 0.81% to 4,582.64. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 103.61 points, or 0.3%, to 34,921.88. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed, jumping 1.9% to 14,532.55.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.967 after a recent rally below 98.6.

The Japanese yen was trading at 122.55 to the dollar, weaker than the sub-122 levels seen against the greenback last week.