Asia tech stocks pick up baton from Wall Street peers

Tuesday 06:00 BST

Overview

Equities were mixed in Asia with tech stocks carrying over momentum from Wall Street peers while shares in big Australian banks slipped after a ratings cut by Moody’s.

European bourses are expected to open firmer, with spreadbetters predicting the UK’s FTSE 100 will add 8 points to 7,532 and Germany’s Dax to gain 30 points to 12,919.

Hot topic

Tokyo-listed stocks were buoyed by a softer yen and upbeat sentiment from the US, where the benchmark S&P 500 equity index rose 0.8 per cent to a record close of 2,453 as the US tech sector rallied.

US index futures suggest the S&P 500 will be barely changed, when trading gets under way for Tuesday’s session later in New York.

The Topix climbed 1 per cent, with telecoms, financials and the information technology sectors all up more than 1 per cent.

Shares in Australia’s “Big Four” banks were lower a day after Moody’s cut its credit ratings on the quartet and a handful of other domestic lenders, citing “elevated risks” in the household sector. ANZ was down 0.7 per cent, Commonwealth Bank fell 0.6 per cent, National Australia Bank dropped 0.7 per cent and Westpac lost 1 per cent. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 down 0.5 per cent.

In Hong Kong the Hang Seng was off 0.1 per cent as gains for tech and consumer discretionary stocks were offset by losses for the real estate and consumer staples segments.

Chinese equities were up slightly ahead of MSCI’s decision on whether to include mainland stocks in its benchmark indices, with the Shanghai Composite adding 0.1 per cent and the Shenzhen Composite gaining 0.5 per cent.

Forex

Foreign exchange markets were stable after an overnight rally for the US dollar. The Japanese yen was 0.1 per cent weaker against the greenback at ¥111.66, near its softest level in more than three weeks.

The Australian dollar was off 0.1 per cent at $0.7596, while the South Korean won was down 0.4 per cent at Won1,136.88 per dollar.

The dollar index, which tracks the…

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