Asia-Pacific stocks trade lower; Australia retail sales data ahead

  • Preliminary Australian retail sales figures for November are set to be out at around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.
  • Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic will likely continue to weigh on investor sentiment, following the discovery of an infectious new Covid strain in the U.K. that has prompted tighter lockdowns and travel restrictions across Europe.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific declined in Tuesday morning trade following investor jitters overnight on Wall Street over a new coronavirus strain in the U.K.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.42% in early trading while the Topix index shed 0.78%. South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.43%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.35%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.12% lower.

Preliminary Australian retail sales figures for November are set to be out at around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN. Ahead of that data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7576, after dropping below $0.75 yesterday.

Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic will likely continue to weigh on investor sentiment, following the discovery of a new Covid strain in the U.K. that has prompted tighter lockdowns and travel restrictions across Europe.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 0.4% to close at 3,694.92 while the Nasdaq Composite finished its trading day 0.1% lower at 12,742.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, on the other hand, gained 37.40 points to close at 30,216.45.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.043 after a jump to levels above 90.8 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.31 per dollar, after strengthening from levels above 103.6 against the greenback yesterday.

Here's a look at what's on tap:

  • Australia: Preliminary retail sales data for November at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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