Futures pointed a lower open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were off 0.27 percent at 20,065 and Osaka futures were down 0.5 percent at 20,020 at 8:13 a.m. HK.SIN. Both were lower than the Nikkei 225’s Friday close of 20,118.86.
Australian SPI futures were down 1.09 percent at 5,693 compared to the benchmark index’s Monday close of 5,755.47.
Stateside, stocks closed mostly flat as the markets anticipated earnings reports due later in the week. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.04 percent, or 8.02 points, to close at 21,629.72, the S&P 500 closed off by 0.01 percent, or 0.13 points, at 2,459.14 and the Nasdaq edged up 0.03 percent, or 1.97 points, to end at 6,314.43.
Markets continued to digest better-than-expected second-quarter GDP from China released Monday. The Chinese growth rate was 6.9 percent on year compared to the 6.8 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.
“Further signs of strong demand in China have continued to support commodity markets. Industrial metals were the main beneficiary, but the economic data continues to paint a positive picture for the entire sector,” ANZ Research economist Giulia Lavinia Specchia said in a Tuesday note.
Copper prices rose to trade at their highest levels since February. Copper gained more than 1 percent to finish the last session at $6,004.50 a ton. This could have an impact on mining stocks when markets open today.
In currencies, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7799 at 6:28 a.m. HK/SIN, off a high of $0.7803 seen earlier in the session. The Aussie dollar earlier hit a two-year high of $0.7840.
Meanwhile, the British pound edged down to trade at $1.3056 from the $1.31 handle seen earlier as Brexit talks kicked off. Sterling had traded at a 10-month high at the end of last week.
The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, traded at 95.150. This was a touch higher compared to the previous close of 95.066. The dollar was also firmer against the yen, with the greenback fetching 112.61 yen. This was still lower than levels around the 113 handle seen in the last two weeks.
The economic calendar for Asia is relatively top-heavy: The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release minutes for its last meeting at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. The China house price index will be due at the same time.
A slew of economic data is expected during European hours, with U.K. inflation, PPI and retail prices due at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN.