Asian equity markets kicked off trade mixed on Tuesday in the absence of a U.S. lead and as investors awaited the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy decision.
With Wall Street shut on Monday due to the Labor Day holiday, investors looked to Europe for trading cues. Bourses in the U.K., Germany and France closed flat to lower after regional manufacturing activity for August fell to a 13-month low. The data will likely be considered by the European Central Bank as it prepares for Thursday’s policy meeting.
Tensions over Ukraine and Russia remain in focus. Reuters reported that the European Union is working on contingencies if Moscow turns off the gas pipes in retaliation to additional sanctions. Separately, Ukraine began peace talks with pro-Russian separatists, who say they would be willing to remain as part of Ukraine if granted special status.
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