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Asian Stocks Mixed As RBA Sticks To Script, China Data Disappoint

Asian Stocks Mixed As RBA Sticks To Script, China Data Disappoint

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points

  • Asian stocks were mixed in a session with Chinese indexes struggling
  • The latest data from that country’s manufacturing sector disappointed
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia left monetary policy alone, as had been expected

Find out how traders feel about major AsiaPacific currencies here.

Tuesday was mixed for Asian markets as trading ramped up in many after a Monday’s May Day break.

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its key Official Cash Rate at a record low of 1.50% as it was universally expected to. The Australian Dollar got a lift though, despite what seemed to be an entirely neutral statement accompanying the decision, suggesting that markets thought beforehand that it might have been a little more dovish on interest rates.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7%, the Kospi added 0.8% while the Hang Seng rose 2.1% at one point but closed barely higher. Mainland Chinese stocks had a tougher session, as did Australia’s ASX 200 benchmark, possibly because the Chinese manufacturing sector threw up another weak data print. This time it was the private, Caixin Purchasing Managers Index. Its April weakness mirrored that of the official PMI, already released. Bank stocks also weighed on the Aussie benchmark as investors nervously eye major bank earnings.

North Korea’s military reportedly said that US bomber flights close to the country were bringing the prospect of nuclear war closer, but the day’s trading action failed to suggest that this was being taken seriously.

In currency markets the US Dollar rose against the Japanese Yen, gleaning apparent support from a rise in US yields, however it didn’t get far against much else and the Dollar index barely moved. Gold prices were steady as overall risk appetite appeared to hold up. Crude oil prices shed a few cents per barrel as investors weighed the likely result of rising supply from Libya.

The rest of the global session will offer investor manufacturing PMI data from around Europe along with official Eurozone unemployment numbers.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.