Asian stock were mixed on Tuesday morning with the Nikkei down after Japan reported a wider than expected current account deficit.
Japan''s current account for November showed a deficit of JPY593 billion, compared to a deficit of JPY128 billion in October, and came in wider than the JPY380 billion expected by economists.
Also reported, Japan’s year-on-year bank lending in December rose 2.3% in comparison to 2.2% earlier.
Japan’s Economy Watchers Current Index for December, due at 1400 local time (0500 GMT) was forecast to have increased to 54.2 from the earlier 53.5.
The Nikkei 225 fell by 2.5% in the morning trading, the Hang Seng index fell by 0.24%, while the Shanghai Composite index rose by 0.57%.
On Monday U.S. stocks plunged after investors sold for profits and jumped to the sidelines before earnings season gears up this week, while uncertainty over U.S. monetary policy also dampened equities prices.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.09%, the S&P 500 index fell 1.26%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 1.47%.
This week will see financial institutions JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup Inc. release earnings, and uncertainty ahead of time sent investors to the sidelines as did U.S. monetary uncertainty.
Also Monday, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said the U.S. economy is on “solid footing” and added that he would support further cuts to monthly bond purchases.
Stocks also remained under pressure amid uncertainty ahead of Tuesday''s U.S. retail sales report, a widely-watched indicator of U.S. economic and corporate health.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Merck, up 6.55% on news the company will seek early approval for a cancer drug, Cisco, which was down 0.07%, and Intel, down 0.10%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included Microsoft, down 2.96%, Walt Disney, down 2.82%, and Nike, down 2.27%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.17%, France''s CAC 40 rose 0.30%, while Germany''s DAX 30 rose 0.39%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.26%.
On top of U.S. retail sales, later in the day the U.S. will release data on import prices and business inventories.
Also today, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher are to speak
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