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  • Asian equities seesaw near record top amid quiet trading.
  • RBA’s status-quo, repeat comments fail to entertain Aussie markets, Chinese policymakers eye Friday’s annual parliament meeting.
  • South Korea’s KOSPI benefits from stimulus headlines, Brazilian covid variant joins cautious sentiment ahead of key events to probe risks.
  • Powell’s speech, Aussie GDP and covid aid package news will be crucial ahead of Friday’s US NFP.

Asian equities copy macro moves while portraying a sluggish session during Tuesday. The risks fizzle early-week optimism amid a lack of major data/events, except for a non-event RBA, as well as fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19) variant from Brazil. It’s worth mentioning that the hopes of stimulus from the US and the UK keep market players positive despite eagerly waiting for the outcome.

Against this backdrop, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops 0.81% by press time.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reiterated readiness to keep the benchmark interest rates unchanged, also gain cited employment fears, while keeping the policy rates and 3-year yield targets unchanged. With this, Australia’s ASX 200 reverses the mild gains portrayed during early Asia with 0.15% losses by press time.

US President Joe Biden’s pick for the US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai conveyed the typical American bias for China and hence policymakers from Beijing may discuss how to respond to that during Friday’s annual parliamentary meeting. With this, Chinese stocks are mildly offered ahead of the European session.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 seems to cheer bearish bias from RBNZ assistant governor Christian Hawkesby whereas South Korea’s KOSPI becomes the region’s biggest winner, up over 1.5% currently as the government announced an extra budget and the Korean Markit Manufacturing PMI also rallied in June.

Elsewhere, Indonesia’s IDX Composite prints mild gains whereas Hong Kong’s Hang Seng contradicts over +1.0% gains by India’s BSE Sensex.

On a broader front, S&P 500 Futures reverse the initial gains with 0.30% intraday losses while the US 10-year Treasury yields currently decline 3.0 basis points (bps) to 1.41%.

Given the lack of major data/events on the calendar, except for German Retail Sales and Canadian GDP, risk news will be the key for markets ahead of Friday’s US employment figures for February.

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