Asia Rises, Australian Bank Stands Pat

Stocks in Asia Pacific mostly rose on Tuesday as the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) kept its policy settings unchanged.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 378.28 points, or 1.7%, to end Tuesday at 22,573.66.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.90 per U.S. dollar after weakening from levels around 105.6 against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng popped 488.5 points, or 2%, to 24,946.63.

Australia’s retail sales data for June rose 2.7% month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That was higher than expectations of a 2.4% increase in a Reuters poll.

The Australian central bank on Tuesday announced its decision to maintain the current policy settings. That came as social distancing measures have been ramped up in the Australian state of Victoria to contain the coronavirus.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a media release announcing the monetary policy decision that the recovery in the Australian economy is
"likely to be both uneven and bumpy," acknowledging that the coronavirus outbreak in Victoria is having a "major effect" on the state’s economy.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7141 after falling below $0.71 yesterday.

In other markets

The CSI 300 gained 4.49 points, or 0.4%, to 4,775.80

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index acquired 30.79 points, or 1.2%, to 2,515.70.

In Korea, the Kospi picked up 28.93 points, or 1.3%, to 2,279.97

In Taiwan, the Taiex index zoomed 196.89 points, or 1.6%, to 12,709.92

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 leaped 105.64 points, or 0.9%, to 11,771.13

In Australia, the ASX 200 revived 111.46 points, or 1.9%, to 6,037.55