Asian stocks mixed in rangebound trade; Thai SET higher
Asian shares were mixed in rangebound trade on Tuesday following a flat finish on Wall Street overnight and as investors await new catalysts to direct sentiment.
U.S. shares were little changed on Monday as lackluster housing data weighed on sentiment. Pending home sales declined for a fifth straight month in October, sending Treasury prices higher overnight.
"The holding pattern of the last seven days looks like it will continue for the rest of week. There is no scheduled news that will really break this trend (globally) and with the end of the month only four days away, most of the moves with be positioning as managers look to close the books," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in a note.
Thailand rises 0.4%
Thailand's SET Index reversed losses to move off a two-and-a-half month low while the baht hovered at an eleven-week low against the dollar ahead of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's no-confidence debate in parliament. The city of Bangkok has been rocked with anti-government protests in a growing bid to oust Shinawatra.
"Markets are only pricing in uncertainty about how mounting pressures on Yingluck to step down will play out. Whereas, there appears to be underlying confidence that the economy will not be rendered dysfunctional due to politics. The latter scenario will extract a much greater toll on Thai markets," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank.
Other emerging markets were broadly lower with Indonesia's Jakarta Composite down as much as 2.3 percent and Indian shares declining 0.9 percent.
Indonesian shares drop
Indonesian shares dropped due to a U.S. dollar-denominated bond auction which failed, with the government selling a little less than $300 million worth of bonds when it was aiming to sell $450 million, said Tim Condon, head of Asia research at ING.
He added, investors are also "unnerved" by Bank Indonesia's comments that it isn't concerned about the rupiah weakening.
Nikkei 0.7% lower
A pause in the yen's decline gave investors a chance to book profits on the benchmark Nikkei, leading it to snap a three-day winning streak. Dollar-yen came off the previous day's six-month high of 101.91 in Asian trade.
On Monday, the index rallied to its third consecutive six-month high and has been trading 5.5 percent above its 25-day moving average of 14,681, which indicates signs of overheating.
Among the most actively traded stocks, Toyota Motor fell over 1 percent while department store Takashimaya tumbled nearly 4 percent after announcing it will issue around $638 billion in convertible bonds.
Minutes from the Bank of Japan's October meeting showed some members saw downside risks to economy, underscoring pessimism within the board on achieving its 2 percent inflation target.
Shanghai down 0.1%
Mainland shares hovered along the flat line in quiet trade, posting a fourth session of losses.
Sinopec sank nearly 3 percent after authorities detained nine employees following last week's deadly explosion at its Qingdao pipeline. As a result, Beijing has launched an investigation into safety at oil and gas pipelines, causing a 0.7 percent drop in rival Petochina.
Property developers fell after China Central Television reported that firms owed more than $623 billion in land appreciation taxes from 2005 to 2012. Gemdale and Poly Real Estate slipped over 1 percent each.
Australian shares managed to close just above the flat line, posting a third straight session of gains thanks to a rally in financials.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar recovered after hitting its lowest level in nearly three months on Monday after Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe said he won't rule out currency intervention.
Kospi up 0.3%
South Korean shares erased earlier losses to mark a third session of gains thanks to strong foreign buying. Data showed offshore investors bought $21.7 million of local shares.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter