Asia markets gain as investors wait for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy decision.Stocks in Japan and Australia gained Tuesday morning as most other major Asian markets remain closed for public holidays.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.37 percent in early trade while the Topix index gained 0.41 percent. In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200gained 1.72 percent as the heavily weighted financial subindex added 4.75 percent.
In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peers, traded at 95.852. The Japanese yen, considered a safe-haven asset, traded at 110 to the dollar while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7210.
The dollar held on to recent gains against its peers on Tuesday, supported by a recovery in investor risk appetite, which helped push up U.S. yields during the previous session.
The euro was flat at $1.1437, off three-week high of $1.15145 set on Thursday. The Australian dollar slipped 0.4 percent to $0.7199 as retail sales for December came in weaker than expected, and ahead of a policy decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia later in the day.
Sterling was basically flat at $1.3038 after seesawing during the previous session on uncertainty over the way Britain will leave the European Union.The Canadian dollar was a shade weaker against the greenback.
U.S. oil prices inched up on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of tightening global supply amid U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and production cuts led by OPEC.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.73 per barrel , up 16 cents from their last settlement. They closed down 1.3 percent on Monday, after earlier touching their highest since Nov. 21 at $55.75 a barrel.