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Asian stocks mixed as oil prices stabilise and gold struggles

Tuesday 03:50 BST

Overview

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as oil prices firmed after a choppy previous session while gold hovered at a six-week low.

Hot topic

In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.4 per cent with the materials sector down 0.6 per cent, pulled down by gold miners after the price of the yellow metal fell to a six-week low on Monday.

Australian vitamin maker Blackmores was one of the worst performers, sliding as much as 4.2 per cent after it announced its chief executive Christine Holgate would be leaving to become head of Australia Post.

Japan’s Topix index was up 0.4 per cent. Nintendo fell as much as 1.8 per cent after the company said it would release a SNES Classic at the end of September, triggering profit-taking. The stock is up 61.6 per cent year to date.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 per cent, while on the mainland China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.1 per cent and the Shenzhen Composite was up 0.2 per cent.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended flat at 2,439 on Monday while the Dow Jones closed 0.1 per cent higher at 21,409.55.

Forex

South Korea’s won was 0.2 per cent stronger at Won1,136.10 per US dollar after a report showed consumer confidence rose to its highest level since 2011.

The dollar index, a measure of the US currency against a basket of peers, was unmoved at 97.428.

The Japanese yen was 0.1 per cent weaker at ¥11.92 to the dollar. The Australian dollar was off 0.1 per cent at $0.7577.

Fixed income

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury was flat at 2.137 per cent.

Commodities

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was up 0.3 per cent at $45.97 a barrel following a choppy session on Monday, when it rose as high as $46.24 a barrel. US marker West Texas Intermediate was up 0.3 per cent at $43.49.

Gold was unchanged at $1,244.51 an ounce after a sudden drop in the previous session saw it fall as much as 1.6 per cent to a six-week low. Traders were unable to pinpoint a specific trigger for Monday’s abrupt tumble, with some analysts suggesting an accidental ‘fat finger’ trade.

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