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Russian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into a possible terrorist act after an explosion hit St Petersburg’s metro system, killing at least 11 people and leaving many more injured.

The explosion occurred while Vladimir Putin, Russian president, was in the country’s second-largest city for meetings with members of the All-Russia People’s Front, a mass organisation which he founded and heads, and Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusian president.

On Wall Street, equities began the quarter on a cautious note ahead of the Wednesday release of minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting, while South Africa’s rand continued to slide, and US crude prices managing to stay just above $50 a barrel.

In Asia Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index to dip 0.2 per cent at the open, while in Tokyo the Topix index is set to open 0.3 per cent lower. Stock markets in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan are closed for Tomb Sweeping Day, as is India’s.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Adastria, Heiwado and Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp.

The economic calendar for Tuesday is a flat circle (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.00: South Korea consumer price inflation
  • 09.30: Australia trade balance
  • 12.30: Reserve Bank of Australia interest rates decision

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