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Asia tech stocks pick up baton from Wall Street peers

Tuesday 03:00 BST

Overview

Equities were mixed in Asia with tech stocks carrying over momentum from Wall Street peers while shares in big Australian banks slipped after a ratings cut by Moody’s.

Hot topic

Tokyo-listed stocks were buoyed by a softer yen and sentiment from Wall Street, where the benchmark S&P 500 equity index rose 0.8 per cent to a record close of 2,453 as the US tech sector rallied.

The Topix climbed 1 per cent, with telecoms, financials and the information technology sector all up more than 1 per cent.

Shares in Australia’s “Big Four” banks were lower a day after Moody’s cut its credit rating on the quartet and a handful of other domestic lenders, citing “elevated risks” in the household sector, ANZ was down 0.6 per cent, Commonwealth Bank fell 0.4 per cent, National Australia Bank dropped 0.6 per cent and Westpac lost 0.6 per cent. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4 per cent.

In Hong Kong the Hang Seng was flat as gains for tech and consumer discretionary stocks were offset by losses for the telecoms and consumer staples segments.

Chinese equities were mixed ahead of MSCI’s decision on whether to include mainland stocks in its benchmark indices, with the Shanghai Composite off 0.1 per cent and the Shenzhen Composite up 0.3 per cent.

Forex

Foreign exchange markets were stable after an overnight rally for the US dollar. The Japanese yen was 0.1 per cent weaker against the greenback at ¥111.66, near its softest level in more than three weeks.

The Australian dollar was off 0.1 per cent at $0.7589, while the South Korean won was down 0.4 per cent at Won1,137.98 per dollar.

The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of peers, was unchanged at 97.513.

Fixed income

Government bonds in the region were little moved. The 10-year Japanese government bond yield, which moves inversely to price, was flat at 0.048 per cent.

The yield on 10-year Australian sovereign bond was up 1 basis point at 2.414 per cent while the equivalent South Korea yield rose 1bp to 2.161 per cent.

The 10-year US Treasuries yield edge down 1bp to 2.181 per cent.

Commodities

Oil prices were steady in Asia after slumping on Monday.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 0.2 per cent at $47.02 a barrel after closing the previous session down 1 per cent.

West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was up 0.1 per cent at $44.25 after shedding 1.2 per cent on Monday.

Gold was up 0.1 per cent at $1,245.36 per ounce.

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