SINGAPORE — Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly down on Tuesday after a positive start to the week and as investors digested the minutes of the Australian central bank’s meeting.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell 0.43% and the Hang Seng Tech Index fell 0.88% in the last hour of trading.
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 the board viewed current rates as ‘well below’ the neutral rate, suggesting further increases will be needed to bring inflation back. to the goal 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 labor market and facing a period of higher inflation,” the minutes said.
The Australian dollar strengthened to $0.6859.
Markets in mainland China and South Korea were mixed.
The Shanghai Composite was slightly higher at 3,279.43 and the Shenzhen Component slipped 0.3% to 12,494.77.
The Kospi lost 0.18% to 2,370.97 while the Kosdaq gained 0.72% to 782.33.
Japanese markets resumed trading on Tuesday after a public holiday on Monday and reversed 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 Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity index fell 0.35%.
The region’s major indexes all rose at least 1% on Monday, with Hong Kong stocks leading the gains and closing up 2.7%.
But uncertainty remains about the path of inflation and what the Fed will do, said Suresh Tantia, senior investment strategist at Credit Suisse.
“There is a high likelihood that markets will remain volatile in the near term,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.
Currencies and Oil
“In our view, the path of least resistance for the USD is to continue higher on the back of the poor global growth outlook,” Carol Kong, senior associate, international economics and monetary strategy at Commonwealth Bank, wrote in a statement. note from Tuesday.
The Japanese yen was trading at 137.89 to the dollar, still stronger than levels seen last week.
Oil futures rose slightly in afternoon trade in Asia after jumping around 5% on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.29% to $102.90 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude rose 0.22% to $106.50 a barrel.