Stocks in Asia edge upwards

Hong Kong — Asia stocks opened higher on Tuesday, cruising in the slipstream of a record high overnight gauge of global equity markets, with investors hoping for inflation and monetary policy clues later in a week full of central bank meetings and data points.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.32% at 1.30am GMT, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.35%, as the country revised first-quarter data showing the economy shrank at a slower pace than initially reported.

MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.11%, following the path taken by its all-country world index, which advanced 0.1% on Monday, hitting its sixth record close in seven days.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index opened up 0.4%, while China’s benchmark CSI300 Index opened flat.

The upward momentum comes as the G7 nations reached a landmark deal on Saturday to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%, lifting shares of technology giants such as Microsoft and Facebook as their future tax obligations become more predictable.

The European Central Bank is due for its monetary policy meeting on Thursday, the same day US consumer price index number will be released, potentially fuelling talks of tapering by the Federal Reserve. In Asia, China inflation data is due on Wednesday.

“The start of a new week has not seen much by way of price action across all asset classes,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX Strategy at National Australia Bank. “It’s hard to avoid the sense the global markets are for the most part now simply lurching from one big event risk to the next with not a lot to see in-between,” he said.

Oil prices lost more ground on Tuesday as concerns about the fragile state of the global recovery in demand for crude and fuels were heightened by data showing China’s oil imports fell in May.

Brent crude was down 11c, or 0.2%, to $71.38 a barrel by 1.51am GMT, after declining 0.6% overnight. US oil was off by 13c, or 0.2%, at $69.10 a barrel, having dropped by 0.6% in the previous session.

Gold prices hovered near the level of $1,900 an ounce, supported by a weaker dollar and lower bond yields. Spot gold gained 0.15% to reach $1902.25 an ounce at 1.26am GMT.