In Asia, futures pointed to a slightly lower open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were off 0.05 percent at 19,915 and Osaka futures were 0.08 percent lower at 19,910. Both were lower than the Nikkei 225’s Monday close of 19,925.18.
In Australia, SPI futures were down 1.06 percent at 5,660 compared to the benchmark S&P/ASX 200’s last close of 5,720.591.
Stateside, U.S. equities were mixed on optimism over a strong earnings season, even though major tech stocks pulled back. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.28 percent, or 60.81 points, to close at a record 21,891.12. Other major indexes closed lower. The S&P 500 slid 0.07 percent, or 1.8 points, to end the session at 2,470.30 and the Nasdaq declined 0.42 percent, or 26.55 points, to close at 6,348.12.
Oil prices hit two-month highs overnight on talk of the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Venezuela’s oil sector after a controversial election on Sunday. The U.S. has only slapped sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro so far, Reuters reported.
Brent crude rose 0.3 percent to settle at $52.65 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate gained close to 1 percent to settle just above the $50 mark at $50.17 a barrel.
In currencies, the euro soared to a two-and-a-half year high against the greenback overnight on solid euro zone inflation data. The common currency stood at $1.1829 at 5:58 a.m. HK/SIN after trading as high as $1.1845 earlier in the session.
Meanwhile, shares of Japan Airlines, Mizuho Financial Group and Panasonic could be set for moves after all three reported first-quarter earnings after the market close on Monday.
Japan Airlines revised upwards its full-year earnings forecast after the airline’s first-quarter earnings rose 12 percent on year. Panasonic said first-quarter operating profits rose 16.9 percent, in line with expectations, while Mizuho announced net profits fell nearly 11 percent due to low interest rates.
On the earnings front, Japan’s Honda and Sony, and Hong Kong’s SJM Holdings are expected to report results.
Ahead, markets are expected to focus on Caixin manufacturing PMI a day after the official PMI data came in below expectations. The official PMI for July stood at 51.4, lower than the 51.6 forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.
Investors are also expected to keep an eye on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy decision later in the day, which could have implications for the Aussie dollar (all times in HK/SIN):
- 8:00 a.m.: South Korea July trade data
- 9: 45 a.m.: China Caixin manufacturing PMI
- 11:50 a.m.: Thailand CPI for the month of July
- 12:30 p.m.: Reserve Bank of Australia decision due