Shares in Asia-Pacific traded mostly lower on Tuesday trade. The mainland Shanghai composite edged down 0.95%, while the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.84%.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan and the Singapore’s Straits Times index were both down 1%, the South Korea’s KOSPI dipped 0.50%, and the Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.475.
Elsewhere, the S&P BSE Sensex in India saw muted moves, traded above the flatline.
Overnight on Wall Street, the U.S. stock markets ended on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.44%, to close at 34,283.27, while the S&P 500 gained 0.23%, to 4,290.61 and the Nasdaq was 0.98% higher, to 14,500.51, boosted by gains in technology shares.
Oil prices fell from its late 2018 high over concerns that the spread of a COVID-19 Delta variant cases in Asia and Europe will lead to less travel, putting pressure on oil prices. The crude rally also was put to a brake before this week's OPEC+ meeting.
Brent now traded at $74.27 per barrel, and U.S. crude futures traded at $72.54 per barrel.
Overnight, the Brent closed at $74.68, while WTI ended at $72.91 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar was slightly firmer at 91.959 against a basket of other currencies. It hovered just below a 2-month high, with traders largely side-lined ahead of a closely watched U.S. jobs report, which could sway the timing of an exit from Fed stimulus.
Yields for benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries was steady at 1.483.
Gold prices eased on Tuesday on firmer dollar. The spot gold slipped to $1,773.70 an ounce and shed to $1,775.20 per ounce for gold futures. Previously closed at $1,778.40 and $1,780.70, respectively.
Silver eased 0.5% at $26.115 per ounce, palladium slipped 0.8% to $2,678.00. Platinum also traded lower, at $1,089.1.
Asian shares edged lower on Tuesday on concern about the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus outbreaks in the region could undercut an economic recovery, despite robust momentum in the U.S. that prompts the Fed to contemplate a quicker exit from accommodative policy.
News of a possible bipartisan U.S. infrastructure spending agreement over the weekend helped boost risk appetite overnight.
Investors will keep a close eye on technology sector today after the Nasdaq jumped to an all-time high on Monday, supported by tech-related stocks as interest rates remain low.
On the economic front, investor attention will be focused today on the U.S. and Eurozone consumer confidence. Friday's payroll data is a key focus, with economists expecting an increase of 675,000 nonfarm payrolls. Elsewhere, negotiations over the revival of Iran's nuclear deal are expected to resume in coming days, after a monitoring agreement between Tehran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog lapsed last week.
Important Levels to Watch for Today:
- Resistance line of 110.999 and 111.193.
- Support line of 110.371 and 110.177.
The dollar bought 110.543 yen, hanging below a nearly 13-month high of 111.109 reached last week.
Both the dollar and yen have recently benefited from safe-haven demand driven by concerns of contagious Delta strain of the novel coronavirus that spread in Asia and elsewhere, stoking fears of further lockdowns.
The dollar gave up an early advance and fell moderately as the yen strengthened after T-note yields fell.
The Japanese yen meanwhile gain strength after its retail sales that beat expectations in May as households loosened spending. A slip in the Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index today also strengthened the yen.
The U.S. dollar held largely steady as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of Friday's jobs report.