investors watch Chinese retail sales and oil prices

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

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.12% while the Topix index climbed 0.28%. The South Korean Kospi lost 0.51%.

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

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan traded down 0.2%.

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

oil watch

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Oil prices have fluctuated wildly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, raising fears of supply disruptions in an already tight market. Talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials are expected to resume on Tuesday, following Monday’s talks between the two sides.

In the U.S. overnight, the S&P 500 lost 0.74% to 4,173.11 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 2.04% to 12,581.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed at 32,945.24.

Currencies

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

The Japanese yen was trading at 118.22 to the dollar after weakening from less than 118 against the greenback yesterday. The Aussie dollar was at $0.7202 after yesterday’s decline above $0.728.


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Felix J. Dixon