What you need to know:
Equities broadly higher in Asia after solid gains on Wall Street
Australian stocks pull back after touching more than decade high
Pound steadies after choppy Monday session
Equities benchmarks were mostly higher for a second day in Asia, after a positive start to the week on Wall Street as investors appeared to shake off trade war jitters. Oil prices continued to rise, boosting energy stocks, while foreign exchange markets calmed after a bout of volatility for the UK pound on Monday following the departures of several pro-Brexit ministers.
Stocks were broadly positive in Asia, after the S&P 500 index closed 0.7 per cent higher on Wall Street, boosted by gains for financials and industrials.
Tokyo’s Topix led the pack with a rise of 0.7 per cent as the key industrials and financials segments climbed 1.1 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. Energy stocks gained 3.9 per cent while utilities were off 1 per cent after gains for oil prices overnight.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng index was up 0.4 per cent as energy stocks gained 1.5 per cent while financials rose 0.9 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks climbed 1.2 per cent, although the tech segment dropped 2.1 per cent.
But in Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.3 per cent after briefly rising to its highest in 10 and a half years. A gain of 0.9 per cent for mining stocks was offset by a 0.9 per cent fall for financials and a drop of 0.6 per cent by utilities stocks.
Forex and fixed income:
Foreign exchange markets were calmer a day after a spate of volatility for sterling following the resignations of David Davis as Brexit secretary and Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, with the pound dipping as much as 0.7 per cent before recouping most of those losses. The UK currency was off 0.1 per cent in Asia at $1.3238.
The Japanese yen was 0.2 per cent weaker at ¥111.08 per greenback. The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of peers, rose 0.1 per cent to 94.134.
Sovereign bond markets were likewise relatively flat with the yield, which moves inversely to price, on 10-year US Treasuries rising 1 basis point to 2.864 per cent.
Oil prices consolidated gains from the previous session with Brent crude, the international benchmark, rising 0.5 per cent to $78.42 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate adding 0.2 per cent to $74.02.
Gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,259.40 per ounce.