Asia markets fall ahead of Australia’s central bank interest rate decision

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) at the central bank’s building in Sydney, Australia on May 2, 2022.

Brendon Thorne | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets fell on Tuesday ahead of a Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate hike decision, with economists almost evenly spilt on whether the RBA will pause or continue its hiking cycle.

According to a Reuters poll of 37 economists, 16 expect a rate hike from the current interest rate level of 3.6% to 3.85%, while 21 expect the bank to hold rates. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 opened 0.16% lower.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose marginally, but the Topix fell fractionally. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.21%, while the Kosdaq index traded near the flatline.

In Hong Kong, Hang Seng index futures were at 20,462, higher than the index’s last close of 20,409.18.

Overnight in the U.S., two of the three major indexes closed higher, despite news of a suprise oil output cut from OPEC+ that threatened to stoke inflation and recession fears.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.98%, while the S&P 500 ticked higher by 0.37%. On the optehr hand, the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.27%.

— CNBC’s Brian Evans and Jesse Pound contributed to this report

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