Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as investors await China’s retail sales data; oil prices fall


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday morning as investors continue to assess the economic outlook, with developments in the Russia-Ukraine war being monitored as well as Chinese economic data releases expected.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.12% while the Topix index climbed 0.28%. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.51%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.63% in morning trade.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.2% lower.

Chinese economic data, including industrial production and retail sales for February, is set to be out at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday. It comes as China is currently facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the height of the pandemic in 2020, with major cities including Shenzhen rushing to limit business activity.

Oil watch

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Oil prices have seen wild swings since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which raised fears of supply disruptions in an already tight market. Talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials are set to restart on Tuesday, following Monday’s negotiations between the two sides.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 shed 0.74% to 4,173.11 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.04% to 12,581.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed at 32,945.24.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.105 — still higher than levels below 98 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 118.22 per dollar after weakening from below 118 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7202 following yesterday’s decline from above $0.728.



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