Asian shares weaker as investors await economic data

By YOUKYUNG LEEMarketsAssociated Press

Asian stock markets were weaker on Tuesday as investors stayed on the sideline before the release of a raft of economic data due later this week. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei were closed on a holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent to 19,576.19 and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.6 percent to 2,338.21. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1 percent to 5,701.60. Markets in Singapore, the Philippines and New Zealand were lower but the benchmark index in Indonesia advanced.

Continue Reading Below

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Asian markets are expected to continue seeing thin volumes coming through with China, Taiwan and Hong Kong markets closed for market holiday," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore.

DATA WATCH: A raft of data being released this week will give investors fresh clues about the status of the global economy. Investors are awaiting for the eurozone business and consumer confidence readings later in the day. On Wednesday, China's latest official factory and service industry purchasing managers' indexes will be released. The ISM index for U.S. manufacturing due Thursday and U.S. private and official payroll numbers due Friday will give investors latest clues on the health of the world's largest economy. They will likely firm up the Fed's decision to trigger a second rate hike this year, said Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

GLOBAL MARKETS: On Monday, France's CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent to close at 5,332.47, while Germany's DAX edged up 0.2 percent to 12,628.95. Markets in Britain and the United states were closed for holidays.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 4 cents to $49.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 90 cents to settle at $49.80 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 20 cents to $52.44 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.92 yen from 111.26. The euro dipped to $1.1129 from $1.1163.