Australia Shares Lower at Close of Trade, Asia Shares Eke Out 19-Month Top

On Tuesday, Australia stocks declined after the close, as losses in the Telecoms Services, Healthcare and Consumer Staples sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.10%.

The best players of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Aconex Ltd (AX:ACX), which increased 8.40% or 0.315 points to trade at 4.065 at the close. In the meantime, South32 Ltd (AX:S32) added 4.69% or 0.120 points to end at 2.680 and Henderson Group PLC (AX:HGG) was up 3.57% or 0.125 points to 3.625 in late trade,  12:22AM ET.

The poorest performers of the session were Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (AX:TWE), which dropped 4.79% or 0.570 points to trade at 11.320 at the close. Cochlear Ltd (AX:COH) dropped 3.73% or 4.990 points to end at 128.760 and Aurizon Holdings Ltd (AX:AZJ) declined 3.38% or 0.180 points to 5.150.

Increasing  stocks outnumbered decreasing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 607 to 503 and 348 ended unmoved.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which gauges  the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, increased  2.00% to 12.427.

Delivery of gold futures for April increase 0.24% or 2.95 to $1228.75 a troy ounce. Somewhere else in commodities trading, delivery of crude oil in March increase 0.23% or 0.12 to hit $53.05 a barrel, while the April Brent oil deal increase 0.25% or 0.14 to trade at $55.73 a barrel.

AUD/USD  increased  0.48% to 0.7677, while AUD/JPY  increased 0.29% to 87.14.

The US Dollar Index Futures declined 0.16% at 100.84.

On Additional News

On Tuesday, Asian shares edged to 19-month peaks as the potential for economic stimulus in the United States strengthened the greenback, bond yields and Wall Street stocks.

“Yet caution bled into markets ahead of testimony by the head of the Federal Reserve, which could highlight the likelihood of two or more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.”

Japanese stocks  also ran into trouble after Toshiba Corp delayed an eagerly expected earnings release, including information of a multibillion dollar charge linked to cost overruns at its U.S. nuclear arm.

The Nikkei (N225) fell 0.7% as Toshiba sheds over 8% under the weight of sell orders.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.2%, trying for its 5th  straight session of gains.

Helping sentiment was  statistics indicating consumer and producer prices were increasing in China, thus dropping the danger of deflation across the globe.

Stocks in Shanghai  were hardly moving  on the day, as were E-mini futures for the S&P 500.

On Monday, Wall Street indexes had hit historic highs, with the benchmark S&P 500’s market value topping $20 trillion as investors bet tax reductions promised by President Donald Trump would increase the economy.

The Dow (DJI) increased 0.7%, while the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 0.52% and the Nasdaq (IXIC) 0.52%.  Apple (O:AAPL), a component of all three indexes, increased 0.9% to close at a record peak for the first time since 2015.

The dollar index (DXY) plunged against a basket of currencies to 101.830, but was still near to its strongest since Jan. 20, while the euro was a shade firmer after three sessions of losses to stand at $1.0609.

The greenback scored a two-week high on the yen following reports that Trump did not discuss the currency or its strong point during weekend meetings with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The dollar was last at 113.45 yen.

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