Asia Pacific stocks set to trade higher; Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision awaited

  • Australia retail sales data for June is expected to be released at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision is expected to be out at about 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.
  • Meanwhile, lawmakers stateside remained at an impasse regarding the next coronavirus stimulus package, with the main sticking point remaining the federal boost to unemployment assistance.

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded higher Tuesday morning as investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision on interest rates.

Japanese stocks, which led gains among the region's major markets on Monday, continued to move upward in Tuesday morning trade. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.04% while the Topix index advanced 1.34%.

South Korea's Kospi also gained 1.03%.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia jumped 1.01%. Australia's retail sales data for June is expected to be released at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.32% higher.

Investors will watch for the Australian central bank's rate decision, expected to be announced around 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday. That comes as social distancing measures have been ramped up in the Australian state of Victoria to contain the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, lawmakers stateside remained at an impasse regarding the next coronavirus stimulus package, with the main sticking point continuing to be the federal boost to unemployment assistance.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 236.08 points higher, or 0.9%, at 26,664.40. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.5% to an all-time high, ending its trading day at 10,902.80. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% to 3,294.61, its highest closing level since Feb. 21.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.557 after earlier seeing levels around 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.03 per dollar after weakening from levels around 105.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7112 after falling below $0.71 yesterday.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.93% to $43.74 per barrel. The U.S. crude futures also dipped 0.9% to $40.64 per barrel.

Here's a look at what's on tap:

  • Australia: Retail sales data for June at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN, Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN

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