RBA interest rate decision, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to trade mixed at the Tuesday open as investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision. Futures pointed to lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,675 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,630. […]

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to trade mixed at the Tuesday open as investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision.

Futures pointed to lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,675 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,630. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,714.44.

Stocks in Australia, meanwhile, were set to open little changed. The SPI futures contract was at 6,019, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,014.60. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to announce its interest rate decision at about 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

“The RBA this afternoon can confidently expected to be on hold as it continues to assess the outlook, where even in its best-case upside scenario, full economic recovery will take years,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

Overnight stateside, stocks on Wall Street saw strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 459.67 points, or 1.8%, to close at 26,287.03. The S&P 500 advanced 1.6% to end its trading day at 3,179.72. The Nasdaq Composite hit an all-time high, surging 2.2% to close at 10,433.65.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 96.725 after earlier declining from levels above 96.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.35 per dollar following a strengthening from levels above 107.6 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6977 after bouncing from levels around $0.695 yesterday.

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