Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as oil rises; Reserve Bank of Australia keeps cash rate target unchanged
SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday, while the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate target unchanged.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.19% to close at 27,787.98 while the Topix index shed 0.23% to 1,949.12.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s Straits Times index gained 0.39%, as of 3:15 p.m. local time. Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.37% higher.
Oil moves higher
“It’s like a little dance that has been going on around energy sanctions,” Vandana Hari, founder of Vanda Insights, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday. “The U.S. banned Russian oil imports but we know that it’s a far more difficult decision … for Europe.”
“We also have to think about what Putin might do in retaliation, so you know that’s another major headache for the European Union,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced Tuesday its decision to keep the cash rate target unchanged at 0.1%.
“The Board has wanted to see actual evidence that inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range before it increases interest rates,” said RBA Governor Philip Lowe. “Inflation has picked up and a further increase is expected, but growth in labour costs has been below rates that are likely to be consistent with inflation being sustainably at target.”
Following that decision the Australian dollar surged more than 1% to $0.7626, continuing to trek upward after yesterday’s jump from below $0.75.