Asia markets were mixed on Tuesday, taking cues from the US where a post-election rally appeared to stumble.
Traders also looked ahead to key global events set to take place this week, including a meeting on Wednesday between the world’s largest oil producers, and the release of the US nonfarm payroll report on Friday.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened down 0.41 percent, while the Topix fell 0.34 percent.
Japanese shares were likely pressured by a slightly stronger yen, which traded at 111.94 against the dollar on Tuesday morning in Asia, climbing from levels near 113.00 in the previous week.
Major exporters sensitive to the yen traded mixed. Among automakers, Toyota was down 0.47 percent, Honda was off by 1.05 percent and Mazda fell 1.02 percent. Electronics maker Sharp was down 0.54 percent, while Canon and Nikon climbed 0.16 and 1.27 percent, respectively.
In South Korea, the Kospi was flat at 1,977.69, with shares of electronics giant Samsung up 0.18 percent. The smartphone maker said in a statement on Tuesday it was reviewing if it should transition to a holding company structure.
The announcement comes after US activist hedge fund Elliott Management proposed in October the company split itself into a holding vehicle for ownership purposes and an operating company, according to Reuters.
Samsung also said it will allocate 50 percent of its free cash flow to shareholder returns for 2016 and 2017, and said it would pay a dividend of 28,500 won (USD 24.36) per share in 2016, up 36 percent on-year.
Meanwhile, Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 was flat at 5,469.20.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed 54.24 points, or 0.28 percent, lower at 19,097.90. The S&P 500 index fell 11.63 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 2,201.72, while the Nasdaq dropped 30.11 points, or 0.56 percent, to end at 5,368.81.
In the currency market, the dollar pulled back against a basket of currencies to last trade at 101.33, after falling to a session low of 100.64 earlier. That was down from levels near 102.00 in the previous week.
The slip in the dollar saw other major currencies trade higher; the Australian dollar was at USD 0.7492, up from levels below USD 0.7400 last week. The euro was at USD 1.0614, climbing from below $1.055, while the pound traded at USD 1.2409.
Treasurys also rose in the US on Monday, with the two-year note yield dropping to 1.107 percent, while the benchmark 10-year yield traded lower at 2.314 percent.
The pull-back across asset classes could suggest market watchers’ enthusiasm for the Trump administration was waning.
But some analysts pointed out that the change in direction was more indicative of short-term market moves, rather than any fundamental reassessment of what Trump’s economic policies might look like in practice.
“We are much more inclined to view the dollar-yen-led decline in the dollar, modest dip in bond yields and softer stocks as more reflective of short-term market positioning,” Ray Attrill, global co-head of foreign exchange strategy at the National Australia Bank, said in a note.
Oil prices gained more than 2 percent during the US session on Monday, ahead of OPEC’ s official meeting Wednesday.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid al-Falih had cast fresh doubts over the cartel’s ability to agree a proposed production cut when he said the oil market, currently suffering from a supply glut, would rebalance in 2017 even without intervention from producers, reported Reuters.
Meanwhile, a Monday meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers was called off after Saudi Arabia declined to attend, Reuters added.
US crude futures closed up 2.21 percent at USD 47.08 a barrel on Monday, while global benchmark Brent climbed 2.12 percent to USD 48.24.
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