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Stocks around Asia were in a calmer mood on Tuesday, after a jittery few days in which geopolitical risks had come to the fore.
Investor demand for haven investments has climbed over the past week, with missile tests by North Korea and a US missile strike on Syria prompting jumps for assets such as government bonds, gold and the yen.
The yield on 10-year US Treasuries, which moves inversely to price, was down 1.6 basis points in Asia at 2.3499 per cent, replicating its move on Monday. Gold was flat – for a second session – at $1,254.16 an ounce.
The yen was 0.1 per cent stronger at ¥110.81 per dollar and eyeing a second straight day of gains.
The stronger yen applied pressure to Japanese stocks, with the benchmark Topix down 0.4 per cent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6 per cent, with financials and the energy sector doing the heavy lifting. The market’s gain also came despite a poor performance from heavyweight BHP Billiton, which was down 1.5 per cent as it politely rebuffed a call from activist investor Elliott Management to deliver “optimal” value for shareholders and spin off its US oil business.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.1 per cent. There was a ho-hum debut for China’s third-biggest brokerage, Guotai Junan Securities, which rose as much as 0.6 per cent as it listed on the Hong Kong Exchange in what is the second largest initial public offering this year, clocking in at $2.1bn.
China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.3 per cent.