Investing.com – Asian equities were mostly higher in morning trade on Tuesday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 underperformed its regional peers following the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) August policy meeting.
The ASX was down 0.9% by 9:55PM ET (01:55GMT). The RBA took centre stage on Tuesday as it said it saw “no strong case” for a near-term shift in cash rate. It also stressed the need for interest rates to stay at record lows. Earlier this month, the central bank left the cash rate unchanged at 1.5%, noting that business conditions in the economy remained positive.
BHP Billiton Ltd (AX:BHP) received some focus after it paid out a record annual dividend of $1.18 per share. Full year earnings jumped 33% to $8.9 billion, according to a statement on Tuesday. That compared with a $9.2 billion average estimates.
Meanwhile, markets were under pressure earlier in the day after U.S. president Donald Trump accused China and the EU for manipulating their currencies.
“I think China’s manipulating their currency, absolutely. And I think the euro is being manipulated also,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters published Monday.
Trump then added that he believed the Federal Reserve should do “what’s good for the country,” and that he disagreed with the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates.
"I should be given some help by the Fed,” he said.
The Fed is due to meet again in meets to consider rates. Markets widely expect it to raise them in September and also later this year. So far, the central bank has raised rates five times since Trump took office.
China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.9% and 0.4% respectively, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.2%.
Low level trade talks between U.S. and China are due to start later in the day, although Trump said he does not expect much to happen during the meeting. Traders will be closely watching this week’s Jackson Hole symposium for clues on U.S. monetary policy.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 22,201.0, while South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.6%.