APAC markets open mixed ahead of RBA decision

The equity markets in Asia-Pacific (APAC) region traded mixed on Tuesday morning as investors are keenly looking out for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest monetary policy decision.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.34% in early morning trade while the Topix index slipped 0.0.31%. In neighbouring South Korea, the KOSPI was trading in the green – up 0.27%.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX200 reflected the nervousness ahead of the key call by the central bank on interest rates and monetary policy. Despite opening in the green, the benchmark slipped into the red within first 30 minutes of trade and was trading 0.10% lower at the time of filing this copy.

The surge of COVID-19 cases in Sydney and the subsequent lockdown has hit the economy – and the early signs of it are visible. As a result, many would be watching this monetary policy keenly. Analysts believe that the RBA won’t tinker with the interest rate but will inject more liquidity in the system by increasing its bond-buying programme.

The Australian central bank is set to announce its interest rate decision at 2:30 pm AEST on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley Capital International’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.27% lower.

Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 97.31 points to end up at 34,838.16 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.18% to 4,387.16. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended fractionally higher to 14,681.07.

The resurgence concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic are weighing on investor sentiment across the globe. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) director said overnight that the seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases in the US has again surpassed the peak seen last summer –  when the country didn’t have any vaccine ready to battle the virus.