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Friday, December 3, 2021

Asia-Pacific stocks mixed following overnight gains on Wall Street; RBA leaves cash rate unchanged

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Tuesday following strong gains overnight for shares on Wall Street.

South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.4%, following its return from a Monday holiday.

Shares in mainland China were lower, with the Shanghai composite down 0.99% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.556%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.91%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.82% while the Topix index dipped 0.81%.

Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 hovered above the flatline.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday announced its decision to maintain its current policy settings, including leaving its cash rate at 0.1%.

“The current monetary policy settings are continuing to help the economy by keeping financing costs very low, contributing to a lower exchange rate than otherwise, and supporting the supply of credit and household and business balance sheets,” RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement. “Together, monetary and fiscal policy are supporting the recovery in aggregate demand and the pick-up in employment.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.31% higher.

Wall Street surge

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 603.14 points to close at 31,535.51 while the S&P 500 advanced 2.38% to finish its trading day at 3,901.82. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 3.01% to close at 13,588.83.

The moves came as the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield declined, following a surge last week. The yield on the 10-year was last at 1.417%.

Oil prices decline

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.26% to $62.89 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 1.35% to $59.82 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.207 as it largely held on to gains from late February when it rose from levels below 90.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.77 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 105.7 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7756 following an earlier high of $0.778.

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