Hong Kong Takes the Lead as Asia-Pacific Markets Decline; Australia's Central Bank Holds Interest Rates Steady

Hong Kong stocks led the decline in Asia-Pacific markets on Tuesday, following a National Day holiday on Monday. The city's benchmark Hang Seng index closed 2.69% lower at 17,331.22, although it managed to recover slightly from earlier in the session when it was down by more than 3%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 traded down 1.28%, closing at 6,943.4, after the central bank decided to keep interest rates unchanged at 4.10%, as expected according to a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.64%, closing at 31,237.94.

South Korean and Chinese markets remained closed due to holidays.

In the United States overnight, all three major indexes had mixed results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 74.15 points, or 0.22%, to close at 33,433.35. The S&P 500 inched higher by 0.01%, closing at 4,288.39, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.67%, closing at 13,307.77.

Australia's Central Bank Keeps Rates Unchanged, Hints at Tightening

Following its meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to maintain interest rates at 4.10%, aligning with Reuters' expectations.

"Inflation in Australia has passed its peak but is still too high and will remain so for some time yet," stated the central bank's governor, Michele Bullock.

She observed that although goods inflation has eased, prices of many services are still on the rise, alongside an increase in fuel prices.

Official data for August reported Australia's inflation ticking up 5.2% year on year.

The statement further read, "Returning inflation to target within a reasonable timeframe remains the Board's priority," with Bullock suggesting, "Some further tightening of monetary policy may be required to ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe."