Markets in Australia and Japan are set to open lower on Tuesday, following a decline in U.S. stocks amid a pullback in the telecommunications sector.
SPI futures in Australia traded at 5,949, which was a touch lower than the ASX 200’s last close at 5,982.7.
Nikkei futures in Chicago traded at 22,435 and Osaka futures were at 22,440. The Japanese benchmark index last finished at 22,467.87.
Trading volumes are expected to be low as many markets in Asia, including China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, are shut for a public holiday.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to announce its monetary policy decision at 2:30 p.m. Sydney time. Market watchers expect the central bank to stay on hold.
The Australian dollar traded at $0.7528 as of 7:16 a.m. HK/SIN, declining from levels above $0.7600 in the previous week.
“All eyes will be on the RBA and Governor [Philip] Lowe today,” Daniel Hynes, a senior commodity strategist at ANZ, wrote in a morning note. “We expect the policy outlook to be unchanged. With domestic factors offering little to offset, we expect global forces to continue to dominate, bringing the [Australian dollar] lower.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, held above its 91 level. It last traded at 91.841.
Oil prices rose overnight amid heightened geopolitical risks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed a cache of files obtained from Iran proves the country ran a secret program to build nuclear weapons.
However, the trove of data did not contain new information that was not known to diplomats who negotiated the landmark Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Iran-watchers said the press conference appeared calculated to embolden Trump to scrap the accord.
“Investors were spooked by reports that an Israeli intelligence report suggested Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program,” Hynes said. “This comes at a sensitive time, with the U.S. President required to ratify the Iran nuclear deal “
Netanyahu’s remarks come less than two weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump must decide whether to continue suspending sanctions against Iran under that deal, or restore the penalties on one of the world’s biggest oil producers.