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Asian stocks dip after Europe’s decline

Asian stocks dip after Europe’s decline

Asian stocks dipped early on Tuesday as European equities retreated overnight and in the absence of a direction from Wall Street, which was closed on Monday for a holiday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 1.1% in early trade as financials, manufacturing and energy-related names traded in negative territory, while technology stocks traded mixed.

Automakers were mostly lower, with Toyota down 1.22%, although Mitsubishi Motors bucked the trend to climb 2.64%.

“U.S. stocks will be watched after their holiday because whether other markets can continue their recovery depends to a large degree on how U.S. stocks perform,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management in Tokyo.

In South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.7% in early trade, with the technology and manufacturing sectors sending a mixed picture.

Equities of steelmakers Posco and Hyundai Steel were up 1.24% and 1.33%, respectively. The moves came after South Korea's trade ministry yesterday indicated it would not sit quiet if the US implemented tariffs on steel imports.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was off by 0.46% in morning trade. Most sectors traded down, with the heavily weighted financials sub-index slipping 0.4%, and the materials sub-index lower by 0.68%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was trading 0.96% lower after it began trading after a four-day Lunar New Year holiday.

Meanwhile, markets in China, Taiwan and Vietnam will remain closed on Tuesday for the Lunar New Year holiday.

In commodities, oil prices hovered near two-week highs, lifted by tensions in the Middle East after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its allies in the region.

US crude futures rose 1.3% to $62.48 per barrel after touching $62.57, the highest since 7 February.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,346.50 an ounce, after it was nudged off the three-week peak of 1,361.76 it scaled last week when the dollar rebounded from three-year lows.

 

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