Asia stocks mixed ahead of Aus­tralia, In­dia in­ter­est rate calls


Asian stocks were mixed in early trad­ing, with Aus­tralia to make a de­ci­sion on in­ter­est rates later Tues­day as slow­ing Chi­nese de­mand hits its re­source-driven econ­omy. Tokyo eased 0.13 per­cent and Hong Kong fell 0.48 per­cent while Shang­hai was up 0.14 per­cent, Seoul was 0.21 per­cent higher and Syd­ney put on 0.63 per­cent.

Most an­a­lysts ex­pect Aus­tralia to keep in­ter­est rates at their cur­rent record lows but the cen­tral bank gover­nor has not ruled out the op­tion of fur­ther eas­ing.

Aus­tralia "will be more sen­si­tive to fluc­tu­a­tions in China s per­for­mance than other coun­tries," cen­tral bank gover­nor Glenn Stevens said in June, as China re­ceives most of the coun­try s iron ore and coal ex­ports.

A mar­ket rout since July has seen China an­nounce a se­ries of sta­bil­is­ing mea­sures, in­clud­ing a crack­down on short-selling, a ban on ma­jor share­hold­ers selling stocks and sus­pen­sion of new share of­fer­ings. In­dia s cen­tral bank will also meet Tues­day to de­cide whether to cut its in­ter­est rate, with the gov­ern­ment keen for a fur­ther snip.

The Re­serve Bank of In­dia has cut rates three times this year to aid In­dia s econ­omy, which out­per­formed China s for the first three months of 2015.

Fac­tory out­put climbed to a six-month high in July on strong de­mand, a sur­vey showed Mon­day, in­creas­ing to 52.7 points in July from 51.3 a month be­fore.

A read­ing of more than 50 points sug­gests in­dus­trial ex­pan­sion while any­thing be­low in­di­cates con­trac­tion, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, which is a key barom­e­ter of eco­nomic health.

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has made re­viv­ing Asia s third-largest econ­omy a pri­or­ity since com­ing to power in May last year, in­tro­duc­ing a num­ber of re­forms aimed at boost­ing de­mand and in­vest­ment.

Asian mar­kets ap­peared to be tak­ing a breather ahead of a heavy week of US eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors. Data on Mon­day showed slightly weaker man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity and a mod­est gain in con­sumer spend­ing.

Wall Street stocks fell on Mon­day with petroleum-linked eq­ui­ties re­treat­ing on a big drop in oil prices. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age de­clined 0.52 per­cent, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.28 per­cent.

The most ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated re­lease is Fri­day s jobs re­port for July, which could strengthen con­fi­dence the Fed­eral Re­serve will soon raise in­ter­est rates, per­haps even in Septem­ber.

Greece stock ex­change, re­sum­ing trade af­ter a five-week shut­down, im­me­di­ately plunged around 20 per­cent at the open be­fore fin­ish­ing down 16.23 per­cent in the big­gest sin­gle-day drop ever.

Ja­panese auto gi­ant Toy­ota will mean­while an­nounce quar­terly earn­ings af­ter post­ing a record profit in its last fis­cal year.

In Tokyo forex trade, the dol­lar was at 124.06 yen early Tues­day, up from 123.99 yen in New York late Mon­day and 124.05 yen in Tokyo on Mon­day.

Gold fetched $1,084.34 an ounce com­pared with $1,092.73 on Mon­day.

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