While Asian stock markets were trading mixed on Tuesday (21 March), the Shanghai Composite was up 0.16% at 3,255.85 as of 6.07 am GMT following poor Wall Street performance overnight.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell 0.04% and 0.02% respectively, while the Nasdaq composite closed higher by just 0.01%. Investors appear concerned that US President Donald Trump's plans to cut taxes and boost the world's biggest economy could take longer than expected.
A senior trader at a European bank was cited by Reuters as saying: "Any fiscal spending by the Trump administration will not come until August at earliest and probably much later. So any economic benefit of that will show up only next year...So the markets are gradually pricing that in, winding back their initial rally after the elections."
Tatsushi Maeno, senior strategist at Okasan Asset Management, attributed the poor performance to US stocks touching high valuations. "US stocks valuations are getting really expensive, so I expect the market to be capped for now. That also means Japanese shares are unlikely to gain further," he said.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of its March meeting which highlighted the growing risks in its housing market. Nizam Idris, Gareth Berry and Teresa Lam, strategists at Macquarie Bank were cited by CNBC as saying: "This reinforces the idea that the prospect of another rate cut anytime soon is remote, and paves the way for a tightening of macro-prudential measures quite imminently."
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 7am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||24,613.69||Up||0.42%|
On 20 March, the FTSE100 closed 0.07% higher at 7,429.81 while the S&P 500 index closed 0.20% lower at 2,373.47.
Among commodities, oil prices rose amid expectations that the production cut initiated by Opec could be extended. As of 2.56am EDT, WTI crude oil was up 0.27% at $48.35 (£39.08) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.43% higher at $51.84 a barrel.