Asia Pacific stocks little changed as Washington ups the pressure on China’s Huawei

Stocks in Asia Pacific were little changed in Tuesday morning trade as investors continued to watch developments in U.S.-China tensions.

In Japan, both the Nikkei 225 and Topix index traded marginally lower. Over in South Korea, where stocks returned to trade following a Monday holiday, the Kospi was just below the flatline.

Shares in Australia edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.38%. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting minutes are set to be released around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.16% higher.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are likely to continue to weigh on investor sentiment. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced Monday a further tightening of restrictions on Huawei, aimed at limiting the Chinese telecommunications giant’s access to commercially available chips. 

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to close at 3,381.99. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1% to end its trading day at 11,129.73, hitting an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, falling 85 points, or about 0.3%, to close at 27,844.91.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.813 after earlier touching levels around 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.94 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 106.4 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7217 after yesterday’s rise from below $0.72.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down slightly to $45.34 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed about 0.1% to $42.85 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting minutes at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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