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Asia-Pacific markets little changed; Bank of Japan interest rate decision ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were little changed Tuesday morning as investors await the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was largely flat in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.37%.

The Bank of Japan is set to announce its interest rate decision at 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN. That comes as multiple regions, including Tokyo and Osaka, were recently placed under a new state of emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.

South Korea’s Kospi slipped fractionally.

Meanwhile, Australia shares were muted as the S&P/ASX 200 hovered above the flatline.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan traded 0.06% higher.

Investors will continue to monitor India’s Covid situation as the country continues to battle a second wave that is pushing its health-care system to the brink.

In corporate developments, HSBC is set to announce its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 nudged 0.18% higher to a closing record of 4,187.62 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 61.92 points to 33,981.57. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.87% to a new record close of 14,138.78,

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.869 — struggling to recover following last week’s slip from above 91.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.16 per dollar, still weaker than levels around 107.5 against the greenback seen late last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7797, having risen from below $0.776 yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.15% to $65.75 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also advanced 0.18% to $62.02 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Japan: Bank of Japan’s monetary policy statement and interest rate decision at 11:00 a.m. HK/SIN

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