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Asia-Pacific markets mixed; RBA rate decision ahead

SINGAPORE — Estimates in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday morning trade with major markets in Japan and China still cramped for holidays.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.2% in morning trade, with shares of preoccupation insurer AIA jumping about 1%.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.39%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.18% higher.

MSCI’s broadest indicator of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.06% lower.

Looking ahead, the Reserve Bank of Australia is set to circulate its interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN.

Meanwhile, official data released Tuesday showed Australia’s trade over-abundant narrowing in March. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus for March came in at 5.574 billion Australian dollars (fro $4.31 billion), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That was a more than 2 billion Australian dollar sink from February.

Economists had forecast a trade surplus of 8 billion Australian dollars, according to a Reuters poll.

Investors also continued to keep an eye on the Covid-19 situation in India as it shows little signs of slowing down. The World Health Organization said hindmost week that one in every three new coronavirus cases globally is being reported in India.

Markets in China, Japan and Thailand are connected on Tuesday for holidays.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 238.38 points to close at 34,113.23 while the S&P 500 gained 0.27% to eat its trading day at 4,192.66. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged as it declined 0.5% to close at 13,895.12.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which roads the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.095 following an earlier low of 90.986.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.25 per dollar, still dimmer than levels below 108.6 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.774, heed levels below $0.772 seen yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.25% to $67.73 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.26% to $64.66 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Hold Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.

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