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Asia equities follow muted lead from Wall Street

Tuesday 03.35 GMT. The US dollar has retreated from recent highs, leaving counterparts across the Asia-Pacific region firmer.

US Treasuries are eyeing their first rise in more than a week, while stocks across Asia have followed on from a muted lead on Wall Street.

The US dollar index, a measure of the US currency against a basket of global peers, was 0.3 per cent weaker in Asia on Tuesday and facing its first decline in seven sessions.

This follows Monday’s 1.1 per cent move, the largest since the aftermath of the Brexit vote in June, which helped the index close above 100 for the first time this year. Dollar weakness has supported gains for other Asian currencies but Monday’s jump was more than enough to trigger further weakness in China’s renminbi.

Equity markets across the region were looking fairly soft, with Japan’s benchmark Topix flat, while the price-focused Nikkei 225 0.1 per cent lower as the yen appreciated 0.2 per cent against the US dollar.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.6 per cent, despite a solid showing from energy stocks as the price of oil rebounded. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.5 per cent and China’s Shanghai and Shenzhen benchmarks were both down 0.1 per cent.

There was also some relief following the $1.5tn wipeout in sovereign and corporate bonds since Donald Trump was elected US president that sent yields (which move inversely to price) soaring. The yield on 10-year US Treasuries was down 4.43 basis points on Tuesday at 2.2171 per cent — the first decline in seven sessions.

On Monday the 30-year US Treasury yield closed above 3 per cent for the first time since December 30. The 10-year yield on Japanese government bonds was down 0.6 basis points at minus 0.015 per cent but the equivalent yield on Australian bonds was higher, up 0.5 basis points at 2.662 per cent.

Oil was enjoying its first gain since Wednesday. Brent crude was up 1.3 per cent at $44.99 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was up 1.4 per cent at $43.94.

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