Asian shares to focus on softer lead from Wall Street

Asian shares to focus on softer lead from Wall Street
Asian shares to focus on softer lead from Wall Street

U.S. stocks lost steam while the dollar edged down from three-month highs ahead of Asia's Tuesday trading day.

Stocks on Wall Street closed lower on Monday as the most packed week of earnings season kicked off, with a fall in shares of General Electric weighing on sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.23 percent, or 54.67 points, to close at 23,273.96, the S&P 500 lost 0.4 percent, or 10.23 points, to close at 2,564.98 and the Nasdaq declined 0.64 percent, or 42.227 points, to finish the session at 6,586.826.

Meanwhile, the greenback gave up some overnight gains after touching a more than three-month high following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's election victory. The dollar fetched 113.40 yen at 6:52 a.m. HK/SIN, compared to the 113.7 handle seen at the end of Asian trade.

The dollar was also steady against a basket of rival currencies as investors speculated about President Donald Trump's decision for the next chair of the Federal Reserve. Optimism over tax reform prospects also supported the U.S. currency. The dollar index last stood at 93.851.

The president on Monday said he was "very, very close" to coming to a decision, Reuters reported. Trump had earlier acknowledged in a televised interview that markets expected him to choose either Federal Reserver Governor Jerome Powell or Stanford economist John Taylor.

Back in Asia, futures pointed to a slightly lower open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were off 0.12 percent at 21,670 and Osaka futures were 0.35 percent lower at 21,620. The Nikkei 225 had closed higher on Monday for the 15th straight day after Abe's ruling coalition won a two-thirds majority in the Lower House.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.06 percent in early trade.

Ahead, China's 19th Party Congress will draw to an official close on Tuesday. China watchers will be paying close attention to the unveiling of the country's new leadership lineup expected on Wednesday.

In corporate news, Thai Airways International has picked All Nippon Airways as its only flight-sharing partner in Japan, dropping its previous arrangements with Japan Airlines, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Meanwhile, oil prices were stable on Monday. Brent crude settled down 38 cents at $57.37 a barrel and U.S. crude futures added 6 cents to settle at $51.90.


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