Asian markets open mixed; ASX 200 down 0.3 per cent, Nikkei 225, Kospi flat

 Asian markets open mixed; ASX 200 down 0.3 per cent, Nikkei 225, Kospi flat

Asian shares opened mixed as investors look ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia's rate-setting meeting.

Australia's ASX 200 opened down 0.32 per cent, weighed by its materials subindex, which was down 0.59 per cent, and a 0.35 per cent drop in the heavily-weighed financials subindex. Australia's energy sector bucked the trend to trade up 0.25 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was effectively flat during early trade; South Korea's Kospi was also unchanged.

Line shares traded up 2.79 per cent after the popular Japanese popular messaging app launched a low-priced mobile phone service called Line Mobile on Monday, offering a basic data plan for as little as 500 yen (S$6.55) per month.

US markets were shut for the Labor Day public holiday on Monday.

"With US markets closed yesterday, trade was primarily driven by Europe and the post-Brexit UK economic data ...[which] has consistently beat market consensus expectations as many different data sets seem to be recovering after the initial shock directly after the Brexit vote," Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG, wrote in a Tuesday note of European trade.

The U.K's Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) jumped to 52.9 in August from July's seven-year low at 47.4, showing resilience in the services industry. Data last week from the UK's manufacturing and construction sectors in August also strengthened.

Meanwhile, Russia and Saudi Arabia confirmed they had agreed to co-operate to stabilize the oil market and limit output, although experts largely dismissed the statement from the two major oil producers as "lip service."

Crude oil prices initially jumped on the news, but pared gains later during Europe's session; US crude futures touched highs of $46.53, while Brent futures hit a session high of $49.40, a peak since August 30, Reuters reported.

During Asian trade on Tuesday, US crude futures were up 1.44 per cent at US$45.07 (S$61.12) a barrel, but Brent futures dipped 0.29 per cent at US$47.49.

In currency markets, the US dollar stood at US$95.773 against a basket of currencies.

The US dollar/Japanese yen currency pair remained at 103 levels, trading at 103.46 as of 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN time.

The pound sterling was trading at US$1.3303 against the greenback at 8:27 a.m. HK/SIN time, after rising to US$1.3375 during Europe trading, its highest since mid-July.

On the economic data front, the Reserve Bank of Australiawill hold its monthly meeting, which will be RBA governor Glenn Steven's last before he steps down. Australia will also release its current account figures. The US will release its ISM non-manufacturing index on Tuesday.

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