Asia Mixed on RBA Change of Policy

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Tuesday, as minutes from a recent meeting by the Reserve Bank of Australia showed the central bank’s willingness to move on monetary policy if necessary.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan returned to trading Tuesday after a long weekend, dumping 150.65 points, or 0.7%, to 21,535.25.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.02 against the U.S. dollar after touching levels above 108.0 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 64.74 points, or 0.2%, to 28,619.62,

The Korea Exchange said Tuesday it would impose a 175-million-Korean-won (approx. $0.149 million U.S.) fine on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s South Korean branch for irregular trading activities

In Australia, shares of miner Rio Tinto slipped 0.64% after the company announced a cost blowout and delay at its underground copper mine in Mongolia, along with a 3.5% drop in second-quarter iron ore shipments due to disruptions caused by a tropical cyclone earlier in the year.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) monetary policy meeting in July showed the central bank was ready to adjust interest rates if required.

The central bank had cut the cash rate to a new all time low in July following a similar move at its previous meeting.

The Australian dollar slipped 0.1% to $0.7032, but was still higher than levels below $0.692 seen last week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 17.35 points, or 0.5%, to 3,806.84

Shares of Chinese tech heavyweight Xiaomi slipped 0.32%. The firm took a 6% stake in chip designer VeriSilicon Holdings, with the move coming amid Beijing’s push for China to become more reliant in sectors such as chips. Xiaomi is set to announce quarterly earnings results in the second half of August.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 9.39 points, or 0.5%, to 2,091.87

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recovered 12.08 points, or 0.4%, to 3,360.03

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index squeezed ahead 9.62 points, or 0.1%, to 10,886.05

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 15.36 points, or 0.1%, to 10,651.20

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 11.99 points, or 0.2%, to 6,641