Asia-Pacific stocks rise as investors look ahead to Australia’s rate decision, India’s budget


SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets rose on Tuesday, tracking stocks on Wall Street as they surged for a second session. Investors in the region looked ahead to India’s budget announcement, as well as Australia’s rate decision.

Japan Nikkei 225 jumped 1.13% in early trading, while the Topix was up nearly 1%. Some tech stocks rose, with SoftBank up 1.28% and Sony 1.73% higher.

Sony’s subsidiary Sony Interactive Entertainment announced Monday it has agreed to acquire privately held video game developer Bungie for $3.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Japan’s manufacturing activity grew at the fastest pace in nearly eight years, according to Reuters, brought on by new orders and stronger output.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.33% after declining earlier.

Data on Tuesday showed that Australia’s retail sales in December fell 4.4% to $31.9 billion Australian dollars ($22.53 billion), after a 7.3% jump in November, according to Reuters.

In other economic data ahead, Australia is due to release its interest rate decision.

“It is widely expected the [Reserve Bank of Australia] will end [quantitative easing], and also open up the possibility to rating hikes in 2022, but will view early 2023 as being more probable according to their wages forecasts,” wrote Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at the National Australia Bank.

India is also set to announce its budget on Tuesday. Economists expect the announcement to include measures that support growth and also allow the government to reduce its deficits and debt accumulation at the same time.

“Oil’s surge in particular is a worry as the negative impact on discretionary demand as well as eroding margins may circle back to set back the fiscal positions,” Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank wrote in a Monday note, referring to India’s upcoming budget announcement. India is a major oil consumer and importer.

“The silver lining is that FY2023 Budget ought to ensure a delicate balance of supportive growth dynamics and fiscal consolidation,” he added.

Elsewhere, markets in mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore are closed for a holiday.

Over on Wall Street, stocks surged for a second day Monday to wrap up a rough January.

The S&P 500 rose 1.89% to 4,515.55, closing out the month down 5.3%. That’s its worst month since the 12.5% loss in March 2020, and its biggest January decline since 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 406.39 points, or 1.2%, to reach 35,131.86. That helped it cut its monthly loss to 3.3%, as it benefitted from its underweighting in tech shares.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 3.41% to 14,239.88, adding to its 3% comeback Friday. The index still ended down 8.9% for January, its worst month since March 2020.

Currencies, oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.685, declining from levels around 97.1 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.09 per dollar, strengthening from levels around 115.2 previously. The Australian dollar was at $0.7066, rising from levels around $0.698 earlier.

Meanwhile, oil rose on Monday to their biggest monthly gain in almost a year amid a supply shortage and political tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, according to Reuters.

As the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates, Moscow is sending more troops and weapons to its border, where an estimated 100,000 troops are already deployed.

Brent crude finished the day at $91.21 for a gain of 1.31%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled 1.53% higher at $88.15 per barrel.

On Tuesday morning during Asia hours, U.S. crude rose 0.16% to $88.29 per barrel, while Brent was up 0.19% to $89.43.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel and Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.

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