CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are in negative territory on Tuesday, tracking the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street amid doubts over the future of U.S. tax reforms. The U.S. dollar weakened following news that two additional Republican Senators have opposed the Republican healthcare bill.
The Australian market is declining, extending losses from the previous session, following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street and as investors digested local corporate earnings results. Banks and oil stocks are among the leading decliners.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 25.10 points or 0.44 percent to 5,730.40, just off a low of 5,730.00. The broader All Ordinaries Index is losing 22.30 points or 0.38 percent to 5,778.50.
The major banks - Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac - are lower in a range of 0.7 percent to 1.2 percent.
Among oil stocks, Santos and Woodside Petroleum are losing more than 1 percent each after oil prices also lost more than 1 percent overnight.
Oil Search reported a 4 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in production during the three months to June 30, but maintained its production outlook for 2017. Shares of the Papua New Guinea-focused company are declining more than 1 percent.
In the mining space, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals are adding more than 1 percent each.
Rio Tinto recorded a 6 percent decline in iron ore shipments from its Pilbara operations in the June quarter and now expects full-year shipments to come in at the low end of its previous guidance range. The mining giant's shares are up 0.2 percent.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining is adding 0.5 percent and Evolution Mining is advancing almost 1 percent after gold prices rose overnight.
CIMIC Group reported a 22 percent increase in profit for the half year and also raised its dividend by 25 percent. The construction and contract mining giant's shares are rising almost 2 percent.
On the economic front, members of the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy board noted that the country's economic recovery has slowed in recent months, minutes from the bank's July 4 meeting revealed.
That prompted the members to maintain a level of careful monitoring for economic conditions, although the depreciating currency rate continues to support the recovery.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total number of new motor vehicle sales in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent on month in June, coming in at 102,275. That follows the 3.1 percent jump in May.
The Japanese market, which was closed on Monday for a holiday, is notably lower following the lackluster cues from Wall Street and on a stronger yen.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 144.15 points or 0.72 percent to 19,974.71, off a low of 19,943.14 earlier.
The major exporters are mixed despite a stronger yen. Canon is adding 0.3 percent and Toshiba is gaining more than 6 percent, while Panasonic is declining almost 1 percent and Sony is down 0.4 percent.
Among automakers, Toyota and Honda are losing more than 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing more than 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining more than 1 percent.
In the oil space, Inpex is rising more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration is adding 0.2 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Taiyo Yuden is rising more than 3 percent, while Fujitsu and Takeda Pharmaceutical is higher by more than 2 percent each.
On the flip side, Alps Electric is down more than 3 percent, while Amada Holdings and Dai-ichi Life are lower by almost 3 percent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 112 yen-range on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are also lower.
On Wall Street, stocks meandered slightly back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed on Monday. Traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of earnings news from a number of big-name companies this week.
The Dow shed 8.02 points or 0.04 percent to 21,629.72 and the S&P eased 0.13 points or 0.01 percent to 2,459.14, while the Nasdaq added 1.97 points or 0.03 percent to 6,314.43.
The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 10 Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent.
Crude oil futures were lower Monday after data showed the U.S. oil rig count rose again last week. August WTI oil lost $0.52 or 1.1 percent to $46.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX