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Asia-Pacific stocks set for mixed start; private survey on Chinese factory activity in May ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set to open mixed on Tuesday, as investors await the release of a private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity in May.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,955 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,930. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,860.08.

Shares in Australia, on the other hand, looked set to slip. The SPI futures contract sat at 7,135, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,161.60. The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to announce its interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

Investors will watch for reaction in Malaysian stocks after the country’s prime minister on Monday announced an additional 40 billion ringgit (about $9.7 billion) stimulus package, just hours before stricter lockdown measures to curb the Covid spread in the country were set to kick in.

China economic data watch

On the economic data front, the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May is expected to be released at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

The official manufacturing PMI for May, released Monday, came in 51.0 — slightly lower than analyst expectations for a reading of 51.1 in a Reuters poll.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.031 after seeing levels below 89.7 and above 90.3 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.50 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 against the greenback seen late last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.774, still below levels above $0.776 seen last week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN
  • China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

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