RBA rate decision, US-China tensions, coronavirus in focus

Michelle K. Wallace

Stocks in Australia were set to trade higher at the open on Tuesday, with major markets in Asia closed for holidays.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Australian stocks. The SPI futures contract was last at 5,335, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,319.80.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to announce its interest rate decision on Tuesday, set to be out around 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN.

On the economic data front, Indonesia’s first-quarter GDP print is expected to be out at around 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Investors will continue to watch for developments on both the global coronavirus pandemic as well as rising U.S.-China tensions, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closing more than 4% lower on Monday amid the uncertainty.

Markets in China, Japan and South Korea are closed on Tuesday for holidays.

Overnight stateside, stocks edged higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 26.07 points to close at 23,749.76 while the S&P 500 rose around 0.42% to end its trading day at 2,842.74. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.23% to approximately 8,710.72.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.484 after seeing levels above 99.5 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.66 per dollar after seeing levels around 107 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.643 after crossing the $0.654 level last week.

What’s on tap for Tuesday:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN
  • Indonesia: First quarter GDP at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN

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