Asian equities were indecisive hobbled by uncertainty as investors focus on a Federal Reserve meeting for clues on U.S. monetary policy. MSCI’s index turned slightly higher after dipping into negative territory in Asian session and in Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high for the fifth straight session, and the S&P 500 marked its second straight closing record high, as higher U.S. Treasury yields helped lift financial shares. Japan's Nikkei stock index added 1.2 percent in early trade, catching up to global equities gains and responding to a weaker yen as Tokyo markets reopened after a public holiday on Monday. The Bank of Japan is predicted to stand pat when it reviews policy Thursday. The BOJ probably won’t reveal when it will unwind stimulus, but could signal determination to keep the yield curve under control.
The Australian dollar briefly spiked after the Reserve Bank of Australia released its policy meeting minutes, and indicated that they expect to see solid employment growth as the economy gradually picks up, while noting risks from housing debt outpacing household income. Geopolitical risks will continue to lurk in the background as President Donald Trump prepares to address the United Nations later today for the first time, with world leaders seeking a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s nuclear provocations. The U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis hinted yesterday about the existence of military options on North Korea that might spare Seoul from a brutal counterattack but declined to mention specifics on the available options he was talking about or whether they involved the use of lethal force.
Crude oil prices were mixed but seen lacking momentum as traders braced for a potential stockpile build-up expected later this week. In early trading, U.S. crude futures were up 0.1 percent and Brent crude slipped 0.1 percent to touch $55.44 per barrel. Coming up today is the German ZEW Economic Sentiment at 09:00GMT and later today at 12:30GMT we will see building permits figures being released from the U.S.