Huawei, U.S.-China relations, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set for a mixed start on Tuesday as developments in U.S.-China relations continue to be watched by investors.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,125 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,130. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,096.75.

Shares in Australia, on the other hand, were set to dip. The SPI futures contract was at 6,052.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,076.40. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting minutes are set to be released around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are likely to continue to weigh on investor sentiment. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced Monday a further tightening of restrictions on Huawei, aimed at limiting the Chinese telecommunications giant’s access to commercially available chips. 

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to close at 3,381.99. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1% to end its trading day at 11,129.73, hitting an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, falling 85 points, or about 0.3%, to close at 27,844.91.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.851 after earlier touching levels around 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 106 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 106.4 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7214 after yesterday’s rise from below $0.72.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting minutes at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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