The US has imposed sanctions on 700 Iranian targets as part of its “largest ever single day” of economic penalties against Tehran, fulfilling Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to take a harder line against the Islamic republic.

The economic curbs target the Iranian oil, financial and shipping sectors as the US seeks to force Tehran to rein in what the Trump administration says are its destabilising activities in the Middle East.

Yet in a fillip to Tehran, Washington on Monday named the eight countries to which it has granted six-month waivers to allow them to continue buying some Iranian crude: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Greece and Turkey. 

On Wall Street overnight, industrials gained ground to leave the S&P 500 up 0.6 per cent but the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.4 per cent, led lower by Apple.

In Asia-Pacific equities, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 is up 0.1 per cent in early trading and ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision. Trading could be muted due to the popularity of the Melbourne Cup horse race during the afternoon session. Futures tip Tokyo’s Topix to gain 0.6 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is expected to rise 0.2 per cent at the open.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Toyota MotorKirin and NTT.

The economic calendar for Tuesday is all this and a bag of chips (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.30: Japan household spending
  • 09.00: Philippines consumer price index
  • 11.30: Reserve Bank of Australia interest rates decision
  • 16.00: Taiwan consumer price index

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