Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that ASX futures were up.

Australian shares are set to open lower, after the three major US indexes fell led by declines in industrials stocks.

ASX futures were down 0.4% or 29 points as of 8:00am on Tuesday, suggesting a lower open.

Stocks pulled back Monday, a second straight daily retreat since investors excited by the potential for lower interest rates pushed U.S. indexes to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way lower, declining 0.4%, or 162 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each fell about 0.3%.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil was up 1.5% to US$86.73 a barrel, while gold was up 0.3% at US$2,171.83.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds was down at 3.78% while the 10 Year yield was also down at 4.00%. US Treasury notes were up, with the 2 Year yield at 4.63% and the 10 Year yield at 4.25%.

The Australian dollar hit 65.35 US cents up from its previous close of 65.19. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies, was down at 98.86.


Chinese shares ended lower, with investors waiting for key economic data expected this week, including February industrial profit due Wednesday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.7% at 3026.31, the Shenzhen Composite Index was 1.9% lower, while the ChiNext Price Index lost 1.9%. Real estate stocks led gains, with Poly Developments rising 3.2% and China Vanke adding 1.9%. Software technology stocks were among the top losers, with Beijing Kingsoft Office Software dropping 3.3% and iFlytek losing 3.9%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.2% to close at 16473.64, erasing earlier gains. Market participants are likely waiting for economic data, such as U.S. PCE inflation and weekly jobless claims due out later this week. Among decliners, Lenovo Group fell 8.6%, ENN Energy Holdings lost 5.0% and China Life Insurance shed 4.0%. Meanwhile, China Hongqiao Group rose 13% after the aluminum maker posted strong 2023 results due to improved margins for its aluminum alloy products. The Hang Seng Tech Index closed 0.5% lower at 3437.20.

Japanese stocks ended lower, dragged by falls in tech, real-estate, and bank stocks, as profit-taking kicked in following the benchmark index's ascent to record highs last week. Recruit Holdings dropped 3.6%, Mitsui Fudosan lost 3.3% and Japan Post Bank shedded 3.0%. The Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.2% to 40414.12. Investors are focusing on any comments from Japanese government officials on the yen's recent weakening. The 10-year Japanese government bond yield fell 1.5 basis points to 0.725%.

Indian shares closed higher, reversing earlier losses, as positive sentiment continued after the U.S. Fed held interest rates steady, but signaled cuts later this year. Auto and bank stocks led gains. Maruti Suzuki India rose 3.55% and Tata Motors was up 1.5%. Yes Bank and IndusInd Bank advanced 2.1% and 1.7%, respectively. Meanwhile, Infosys led losses, dropping 3.0%. Tata Consultancy Services and Tech Mahindra were down 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders was 1.0% higher after winning a 29-year lease on a property near its Mumbai yard. Investors are watching for any policies ahead of the general election this spring. India's stock market will be closed on Monday due to the Holi holiday. The benchmark Sensex closed 0.3% higher at72831.94.


The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1% in closing trade to 509.91, having earlier matched its intraday record high of 510.46, with investors reluctant to push equities much higher ahead of the long Easter weekend. "It's the last week of the first quarter, and it's a holiday-shortened one at that," says David Morrison, senior market analyst at fintech provider Trade Nation, in a note. Sentiment remains upbeat after last week's raft of central-bank decisions left open the possibilities of interest-rate cuts in the U.S. and the U.K. coming earlier than previously anticipated. Germany's DAX rose 0.3% to a new record high, France's CAC 40 gained 0.1% while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged down 0.1%.

London's blue-chip index finished the trading session 0.17% lower at 7,917.57 points on Monday, paring some of Friday's gains when it hit a one-year intraday high. Last week's rally in equity markets has come to a halt due to renewed tensions between Ukraine and Russia, AJ Bell's Russ Mould wrote, adding that investors are nervously watching the developments from the sidelines.

North America

Stocks pulled back Monday, a second straight daily retreat since investors excited by the potential for lower interest rates pushed U.S. indexes to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way lower, declining 0.4%, or 162 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each fell about 0.3%.

All three indexes remain up on the year, already exceeding many Wall Street forecasts for full-year gains.

"I suspect that many investors over the next couple of days are going to be asking themselves the question, 'Do we need to get more bullish in our assumptions or do we need to take a couple of chips off the table?'" said Steve Chiavarone, head of the multi-asset group at money manager Federated Hermes.

The firm called for the S&P 500 this year to hit 5200 points, which it breached for the first time last week. Yet it is difficult to be a seller when the Federal Reserve is signaling interest-rate cuts this year and the economy is growing, Chiavarone said.

"There's not many opportunities you get to buy stocks when interest rates are falling and earnings are accelerating," he said.

A narrow majority of Fed officials last week reaffirmed projections to cut interest rates three times this year despite inflation that has proven sticky in recent months.

"The risks to achieving our employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance," Fed Gov. Lisa Cook, a voting member of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, said Monday during a lecture at Harvard University. "Nonetheless, fully restoring price stability may take a cautious approach to easing monetary policy over time."

Treasury yields ticked higher, ending a four-day slide. The yield on benchmark 10-year note ended at 4.252%, up from 4.217% on Friday.

John Bailer, deputy head of equity income at Newton Investment Management, said there are signs that stocks besides big technology firms are joining the rally. He has added energy and finance shares and expects the next round of corporate results will determine the market's direction more than central bankers.

"The next big catalyst will be earnings season," he said. "I do think we see some cracks in some areas of this market where expectations have gotten way too high."

The current round of quarterly earnings is winding down. Spice maker McCormick and day-trader favorite GameStop are scheduled to report earnings Tuesday. Results from cruise operator Carnival and payroll firm Paychex are due Wednesday, while pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance is set for Thursday.

Equity and bond markets are closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

In individual stocks, Super Micro Computer remained the hottest stock in the S&P 500, rising 7.2% Monday to bring its year-to-date gain to 267%.

Micron Technology gained 6.3% to close at a record. It was the seventh straight daily gain for the memory-chip company, which last week gave a rosier outlook than analysts had expected, due to artificial-intelligence server demand rippling through the market for data storage.

Videogame maker Take-Two Interactive Software led the S&P 500 lower, falling 4.1% following a trade publication's report that the latest installment of its blockbuster Grand Theft Auto series may be delayed.

United Airlines lost 3.4% after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would increase oversight of the carrier following a string of safety issues. United faces potential restrictions on new routes and the use of new planes, The Wall Street Journal reported.