Business

Asia-Pacific Markets Mostly Lower After a Positive Start to the Week

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly lower Tuesday after a positive start to the week, and as investors digested Australia's central bank's meeting minutes.
  • Major U.S. stock indexes pulled back and closed lower after rallying earlier in the session.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 215.65 points or 0.69% to 31,072.61. The S&P 500 shed 0.84% to 3,830.85. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.81% to 11,360.05.

SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly lower Tuesday after a positive start to the week, and as investors digested Australia's central bank's meeting minutes.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.43%, and the Hang Seng Tech index fell 0.88% in the final hour of trade.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.56% to 6,649.6.

The Reserve Bank of Australia released its meeting minutes on Tuesday, which showed that the board saw current rates as being "well below" the neutral rate, suggesting that further increases will be needed to return inflation to the target over time.

The RBA raised rates by 50 basis points earlier this month. "The level of interest rates was still very low for an economy with a tight labour market and facing a period of higher inflation," the minutes said.

The Australian dollar strengthened to $0.6859.

Mainland China and South Korea markets were mixed.

The Shanghai Composite was mildly higher at 3,279.43 and the Shenzhen Component slipped 0.3% to 12,494.77.

The Kospi shed 0.18% to 2,370.97 while the Kosdaq gained 0.72% to 782.33.

Japanese markets returned to trade Tuesday after a holiday on Monday and bucked the trend in the region. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.65% to 26,961.68 while the Topix index climbed 0.54% to 1,902.79.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.35%.

Major indexes in the region all rose at least 1% on Monday, with Hong Kong stocks leading gains and closing 2.7% higher.

But uncertainty remains over the trajectory of inflation and what the Fed will do, said Suresh Tantia, senior investment strategist at Credit Suisse.

"It's quite likely that markets remain volatile in the short term," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Tuesday.

In company news, the Financial Times reported that SoftBank has paused plans to list chip designer Arm in London because of political uncertainty in the U.K. SoftBank Group's shares rose 1.42%. The firm declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Meanwhile, Swire Pacific, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate, sad it acquired Coca-Cola subsidiaries with bottling businesses in Vietnam and Cambodia. The company's Hong Kong-listed shares were down 1.09% in the late afternoon.

Major U.S. stock indexes pulled back and closed lower after rallying earlier in the session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 215.65 points or 0.69% to 31,072.61. The S&P 500 shed 0.84% to 3,830.85. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.81% to 11,360.05.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 107.181, pulling back from last week's levels.

"In our view, the path of least resistance for the USD is to continue trending higher because of the poor global growth outlook," Carol Kong, a senior associate, international economics and currency strategy at Commonwealth Bank, wrote in a Tuesday note.

The Japanese yen traded at 137.89 per dollar, still stronger than levels seen last week.

Oil futures inched higher in Asia's afternoon trade after jumping around 5% on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.29% at $102.90 per barrel while international benchmark Brent crude rose 0.22% at $106.50 per barrel.

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