Asia-Pacific markets were trading mixed on Tuesday, defying moves on Wall Street after the S&P 500 erased earlier gains that brought the benchmark index to trade at its highest level on an intraday basis in nine months.
Markets are “catching their breath after Friday’s broad-based rally,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at the Carson Group. “It’s a very lackluster news day, which isn’t a bad thing as we consolidate some of those big recent gains we’ve had.”
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.2% and finished the day at 7,129.6 after the central bank surprised markets and raised its cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.1%. The Australian dollar strengthened by 0.8% to 0.6669 against the U.S. dollar.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 continued to rise above the 32,000 mark, gaining 0.9% and ended at 32,506.78. Meanwhile, the Topix was up 0.74% and closed at 2,236.28.
The last time the Nikkei traded at these levels, Japan was in the middle of its bubble economy — a period from 1986 to 1991 where real estate prices and stock prices were hugely inflated. The Nikkei reached its all-time high of just above 38,900 in December 1989.
South Korea’s markets are closed Tuesday for a holiday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.18% in its final hour of trade, dragged by industrial stocks. Mainland Chinese markets were also all lower, with the Shanghai Composite down 1.15 and ending at 3,195.34, its lowest level since Jan 13.
Meanwhile, the Shenzhen Component fell 1.58% to end at 10,773.45, its lowest level in over seven months.
Overnight in the U.S., the S&P 500 lost 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.09%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.59%.
Notably, tech giant Apple lost about 0.8%, retreating from all-time highs touched earlier in the session. The iPhone maker on Monday unveiled its highly anticipated virtual reality headset and a slew of software updates at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.