Japan stocks set for mixed start; Dow closes at new record overnight

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  • Japan’s retail sales declined 1.5% in February from a year earlier, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
  • Shares of Nomura continued to see losses in Tuesday trade as they declined more than 2%. The Japanese financial services firm’s stock tumbled more than 16% on Monday .

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Tuesday as investors watched movement in shares of Japanese financial services firm Nomura following their Monday plunge.

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The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.11% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.86%.

Japan’s retail sales declined 1.5% in February from a year earlier, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. That compared against a median market forecast for a 2.8% decline, according to Reuters.

Shares of Nomura continued to see losses in Tuesday trade as they declined more than 2%. The firm’s stock tumbled more than 16% on Monday after the company warned of a “significant loss” at one of its U.S. subsidiaries, resulting from transactions with a client stateside.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.25%. Shares in Australia edged higher as the S&P/ASX 200 advanced about 0.1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded below the flatline.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 98 points higher at a fresh record of 33,171. The S&P 500 declined fractionally on the day to 3,971.09 while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.6% to 13,059.65.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.91 as it largely held on to gains following its rise last week from below the 92 level.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.83 per dollar, still relatively weaker than levels below 109 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7637, off levels below $0.762 seen in the previous trading week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.65% to $65.40 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.75% to $62.02 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Japan: Retail sales data for February at 7:50 a.m. HKS/IN
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