Asia markets were set to begin Wednesday cautiously, following overnight declines in U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 posted its first three-day losing streak since August.
Australian markets opened lower with the ASX 200 down 0.31 percent in early trade. Most sectors were lower, and the materials sector fell about 1.11 percent.
Also of note for traders: Copper prices were down 4.31 percent.
Nikkei futures in Chicago traded at 22,485 while Osaka futures were at 22,540. That pointed to a lower open for the Japanese benchmark index, which finished the Tuesday session at 22,622.38.
In the currency market, the dollar rose against a basket of rivals to trade at 93.303 at 6:23 a.m. HK/SIN. The greenback climbed from levels below 92.700 reached late last week but was still off from a session high of 93.488.
Some attributed the dollar’s moves to developments in the U.S. which could see President Donald Trump’s administration potentially sealing its first major legislative win.
Markets are closely tracking the progress made by U.S. lawmakers to pass a bill that will overhaul the American tax system. Over the weekend, the Senate narrowly passed its version of the plan.
Now House and Senate lawmakers have to hash out differences and agree on a final bill to send to Trump.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday as traders expected a draw down in U.S. crude inventories.
Reuters reported that analysts expect data from the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration to show crude stocks fell 3.4 million barrels last week.
Elsewhere, Australia’s third-quarter gross domestic product data is due at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5 percent.
In its policy statement, the central bank said it expected the economy to grow on average around 3 percent over the next few years, with an improved outlook for non-mining business investment and increased public infrastructure investment.
Also on the docket: The Reserve Bank of India is set to announce its policy decision at 5 p.m. HK/SIN.
Falling US stocks set the stage for Asian trade