Tokyo, Japan (BBN) – Asian markets traded sideways on Tuesday, following the new record highs over at Wall Street and firmer dollar on hopes fueled by President Donald Trump’s tax reforms with bank earnings in Singapore an update by Japan’s Toshiba and South Korea’s main index of regional note.
The Dow Jones industrial average posted its 22nd record close since Nov. 8, up 0.7 per cent at 20,412.16; the S&P 500 added 0.52 per cent to close at 5,763.96, its 14th record close and also hit $20 trillion in market cap for the first time, reports CNBC.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.52 per cent to finish at 5,763.96, led by Apple, which closed at an all-time high at $133.29.
“The focus remains on US equity markets, with the S&P 500 grinding higher yet again amid solid gains in financials, tech and industrial names,” said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, in a Tuesday note.
Weston added that the rally may reverse once further details of the “phenomenal” tax plan are released.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.06 per cent in early trade.
Toshiba shares lost 3.76 per cent after the Nikkei business daily reported that it may not be able to continue as a going concern, following massive nuclear-related losses.
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.16 per cent.
Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee emerged from the South Korean special prosecutor office early Tuesday morning, as he is suspected to a bribery suspect in a political scandal, which has engulfed the country.
Down Under, the ASX 200 was up 0.34 per cent, supported by strong gains in the materials sub-index, which was up 0.75 per cent.
Major Australian miners were higher, with Rio Tinto up 1.39 per cent, Fortescue Metals adding 2.18 per cent, while BHP BIlliton was up 0.57 per cent.
Copper prices hit its highest levels since May 2015 overnight on limited supply after strikes at BHP Billiton’s Escondida and Freeport McMoran’s Indonesian Grasberg mine, Reuters reported.
In earnings news, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC), Singapore’s second largest listed bank, said net interest income fell 7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to S$1.25 billion with net allowances for loans and other assets of S$305 million, a jump of 57 per cent above S$193 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The bank said it continued to see loan quality stresses, particularly within the oil & gas sector which drove increases in non-performing loans and allowances with an “uncertain outlook and depressed oil prices particularly impacted oil and gas support services sector.”
The dollar is also having a moment, after it surged to a three-week high overnight and hovered at 101.01 against a currency basket during Asian trade.
Against the greenback, the yen slipped to 113.75 at 7:00 am HK/SIN, weaker compared to last week’s low around 111.
The Australian dollar was steady at $0.7638.
The National Australia Bank business confidence survey and lending finance data are due out of Australia.
China’s consumer price index and producer price index for January are also on tap.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due for her semi-annual testimony before congress.
Crude oil prices tumbled by around 2 per cent on the stronger dollar and indications of rising US shale output, Reuters reported.
Brent crude futures dropped 2 per cent to settle at $55.59 a barrel, while US crude fell 1.7 per cent to $52.93.