Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Biden picks Powell to lead U.S. Federal Reserve for a second term

  • Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Tuesday morning trade.
  • Markets in Japan are closed on Tuesday for a holiday.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden announced Monday that he will renominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chair.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade as investors watched for market reaction to U.S. President Joe Biden picking Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chair.

South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.2% in morning trade, with shares of biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion plunging more than 3%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.32% in morning trade, with shares of major miner BHP rising around 4%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.06% lower.

Markets in Japan are closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 17.27 points higher to 35,619.25 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.32% to 4,682.94. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, dropping 1.26% to 15,854.76.

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Those moves came as investors on Wall Street reacted to Biden picking Powell for another term as Fed chair. Biden had been under pressure to name a more progressive Democrat, rather than keep Republican Powell in the role.

Powell has guided the U.S. central bank and the country's economy through the pandemic recession, unleashing unprecedented monetary stimulus to keep financial markets afloat. His renomination now heads to the Senate for confirmation.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.548, higher than the levels below 95.4 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.80 per dollar, following a recent sharp weakening from below 114.5 against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.7229, still off levels above $0.735 seen last week.

— CNBC's Jeff Cox and Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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