Australian markets snapped a four-session winning streak on Tuesday, as all sectors struggled, with tech stocks and gold miners leading losses. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.28% while the broader All Ordinaries index closed 0.26% lower. New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index climbed 0.16%.
Asian markets traded mixed after Japan’s inflation report showed core consumer prices in Tokyo exceeded the central bank’s 2% target for a seventh straight month in December. China’s Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.21%Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.27%. Japanese shares bucked the weak trend with the Nikkei 225 rising 0.78% as traders returned to their desks following a public holiday and ahead of a policy meeting by the Bank of Japan early next week. Seoul stocks rose for the fifth day running with the Kospi closing up 0.20%.
Major European stock indices traded lower in the premarket as caution returned to sentiment ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at 1400 GMT. Germany’s DAX fell 0.40% at 8:00 am CET, while London’s FTSE 100 was flat at the same time. The Euro Stoxx 50 declined 0.87% at 8:01 am CET while France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.79% simultaneously.
European stock markets closed lower on Tuesday after the European Central Bank noted that “the near-term growth outlook is weaker for the euro area than for the United States” and ECB official Isabel Schnabel told a symposium organized by the Sveriges Riksbank, that interest rates will still have to “rise significantly at a steady pace to reach levels that are sufficiently restrictive,” in order for the 2% inflation target to be hit. The DAX closed with a 0.12% loss, the FTSE 100 was off 0.39%, the CAC 40 fell 0.55% and the Euro Stoxx 50 closed 0.29% lower.
US stock futures traded lower as concern over higher rates lingered among traders. Two U.S. Federal Reserve officials said on Monday that they expected the Fed policy rate – now at 4.25% to 4.5% – would need to rise in steps to 5.0-5.25%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 0.33% or 112 points at 4:15 am ET. At the same time, the Nasdaq 100 went down by 0.22%. The S&P 500 declined by 0.27%.
U.S. stocks climbed higher and settled on a firm note on Tuesday. The Dow ended higher by 0.56%, the S&P 500 closed up 0.7% while the Nasdaq rose 1.01%. Analysts hoping for a morsel of sentiment from Powell at an event discussing central bank independence spent the afternoon famished.
Oil prices were stable on Tuesday. Brent futures for March were up 26 cents, or 0.3%, at $79.91 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 37 cents, or 0.5%, to $75, according to Reuters.
Gold ticked up on Tuesday. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,876.11 per ounce, trading in a narrow $10 range. U.S. gold futures edged 0.15% higher to $1,880.70, according to Reuters.
The Australian dollar fell against its major counterparts on Tuesday. The aussie depreciated to 0.6885 against the greenback and 90.86 against the yen, and weakened to 4-day lows of 1.5577 against the euro and 1.0820 against the kiwi.
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