Asian equities trade flat on possible US tariffs

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Asian equities trade flat on possible US tariffs

Asian stocks look set for a steady start Tuesday as investors evaluate the possible scrapping of US tariffs on Chinese consumer goods.

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Futures rose for Australia and Hong Kong, but were little changed for Japan and Hong Kong. The Biden administration may announce the rollback of some levies as soon as this week in a bid to counter high inflation.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts fluctuated. European shares climbed Monday while Wall Street was closed for the Independence Day holiday.

Australia's dollar was little changed ahead of the central bank's rate decision. The monetary authority is expected to implement back-to- back half-percentage point interest-rate hikes for the first time ever, among more than 80 to have raised rates this year.

Treasury futures fell after a retreat in European bonds. A dollar gauge was firm. Crude oil climbed to $111 a barrel. There is speculation that President Joe Biden may reduce Trump-era tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports. Policy makers around the world have been under pressure to tackle inflation, which has resulted in higher interest rates, sapped economic expansion and resulted in steep losses in equities and fixed income this year.

Carol Kong, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note that US inflation remains exceptionally high and will require more than fiscal policy to rein in price pressures. We expect the FOMC to press on with rate hikes despite mounting recession fears. Some of the biggest moves in markets are:

The Japanese yen was at 135.77 per dollar.

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