Most Asian stocks higher ahead of RBA; Nikkei up 0.81%
In Asian trading Tuesday, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.81%, although USD/JPY traded slightly lower. Earlier Tuesday, the Bank of Japan said Japan's monetary base expanded to 36% in June from 31.6% in May. Analysts expected Japan's Monetary base to rise to 41.2% last month.
In a separate report, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said that Japan's Average Cash Earnings remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 0.0% in the second quarter. The first-quarter reading was revised down from 0.3%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.48% while the Shanghai Composite gave up 0.49% amid lingering concerns about the strength of Chinese banks. China's four largest banks are also among the world's 10 largest banks.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.1% due to strength in materials shares. The Aussie traded lower after Australian PMI jumped 5.8 points to 49.6 for the month of June. Readings below 50 indicate contraction. Still, the stark improvement from the May number indicates Australia's manufacturing sector is starting to find solid ground and that could be a sign that a raft of interest rate cuts by RBA dating back to late 2011 are finally starting to have a positive impact on the world's 12th-largest economy.
RBA held rates steady at a record low of 2.75% following its last meeting and most economists expect the weak Aussie will prevent another rate cut later today. However, most economists also expect that RBA will lower rates again at some point this year.
New Zealand's NZSE 50 climbed 0.96% while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.16%. Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.56%.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.18% a day after the benchmark U.S. index added 0.54%.
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