Hong Kong (CNN Business)Asian markets were muted in early trading Tuesday, while the Chinese yuan briefly dipped to historically low levels in offshore trading.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ( alsoinched 0.1%lowerfollowing slight weakness Monday. Last month, the Hang Seng recorded a 7.4% drop — one of the worst among major global indexes. The index has been weighed down by escalating )US-China trade tensions as well as intensifying protests in the city.
Japan’s Nikkei ( inched up 0.1%, while South Korea’s )Kospi ( fell 0.1%. )
The Chinese yuan touched a record low in offshore trading early Tuesday morning — it briefly hit 7.196 yuan per one US dollar, the lowest since it began trading outside of mainland China in 2010. It’s now trading a bit higher at 7.187 per dollar, which is slightly stronger than Monday.
So far this year, the yuan has lost about 4.5% against the dollar in offshore trading, where the currency trades more freely.
The onshore yuan, meanwhile, was trading at around 7.185 per dollar Tuesday. It has also fallen around 4.5% this year.
Here’s what is happening elsewhere at about 1 p.m. Hong Kong time:
- The Reserve Bank of Australia left its cash rate unchanged at 1%. The decision was expected. “The outlook for the global economy remains reasonable,” though risks remain, said the central bank’s governor, Philip Lowe, in a statement. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was down about 0.1%.
- Xiaomi, which is the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer, jumped5%in Hong Kong after it announced a share buyback plan of up to 12 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.5 billion).
- South Korea revised its estimate for GDP growth for the second quarter on Tuesday. Its GDP expanded by 1% in the quarter compared with the first quarter, which is slightly lower than a previous estimate, the Bank of Korea said.
- US markets were closed Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.