Asian Stocks Mostly Fall ahead of Australia’s Rate Decision

Stocks in Asia were mostly lower on Tuesday, following Wall Street’s modest gain before the Independence Day holiday.

As of 9:21 a.m. Bangkok time on Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 index in Japan retreated by 1.07% from a new 33-year high recorded on Monday.

The South Korean Kospi dropped 0.29% following the country’s consumer price index climbing at a slower rate of 2.7% in June, the fifth consecutive monthly decline.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was traded marginally higher.

Chinese markets were split up, with the Shanghai Composite falling 0.16% and the Hang Seng index rising 0.36%.

In a short trading session before Independence Day, all three main U.S. stocks rose overnight. The S&P 500 index rose 0.12% while the Nasdaq composite gained 0.21 %. The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew by 0.03%.

Trading in U.S. markets will reopen on Wednesday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is scheduled to make a rate announcement later today. Reuters’ survey of economists expects that Australia’s central bank will raise its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, to 4.35%, bringing it to its highest level since December 2011.   

Investors will also be keeping an eye out for the effects of China’s intensification of the tit-for-tat technology trade battle with the United States and its allies. China has placed restrictions on the export of germanium and gallium, two elements essential to the semiconductor, telecommunications, and electric car industries.