asia

Asia shares cautious ahead of US data


Asian share markets are cautious after US indices weakened as investors anticipated the start of corporate earnings seasons and release of key inflation data.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was trading less than 0.1 per cent higher early on Tuesday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 gained 10 points to 6983.90 early in the session while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9 per cent.

Tech stocks drove the gain in Australian stocks while the country’s major miners showed signs of weakness.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.6 per cent in early trade while the mainland bluechip index CSI300 edged up 0.3 per cent ahead of March trade figures to be published on Tuesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI 200 Index was 0.5 per cent higher.

“Volatility has come off in US markets as we see it trading flat ahead of reporting season,” said James Rosenberg at Baillieu Holst in Sydney.

“With markets at broadly record levels there’s expectations it’ll be very strong and that certainly does not leave much room for disappointment.”

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.2 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 33,745.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.81 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,127.99 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 50.19 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 13,850.00.

Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren said on Monday the US economy could see a significant rebound this year due to looser money and fiscal policy but the country’s job market still faced weakness.

He said with inflation still below the central bank’s 2 per cent target rate the current “highly accommodative” monetary policy stance remained appropriate.

US inflation data for March is due to be published Tuesday.

The benchmark 10-year yield was at 1.6782 per cent, holding below a 14-month high of 1.776 per cent reached on March 30.

It traded between a range of 1.6835 per cent and 1.6427% during the US session.



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