Asia markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday, with Australian shares falling despite another interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia, while the yen climbed after Japan's cabinet approved the government's stimulus package.
The benchmark ASX 200 closed down 46.89 points, or 0.84 percent, at 5,540.50. Shares did not move sharply after the decision as the market may have already priced a rate cut into stocks, with the stock index up more than 6 percent since the beginning of July.
The energy sub-index closed down 3.21 percent, likely on the back of lower oil prices overnight, when U.S. crude futures slipped below $40 a barrel for the first time since April.
The Australian dollar, which fell after the RBA cut its key cash rate by 25 basis points to a fresh record low of 1.50 percent, pared its losses against the greenback by evening local time. The Aussie traded as low as $0.7495 after the decision, compared with $0.7544 just before the RBA released its statement. As of 3 p.m. HK/SIN, the Aussie traded at $0.7546.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 244.32 points, or 1.47 percent, to 16,391.45 ahead of the release of further details on Japan's hefty fiscal stimulus plan announced last week.
After the stock market closed and the stimulus package was approved by the cabinet, the Japanese yen strengthened against the dollar, with the currency pair dropping as low as 101.55 from levels as high as 102.81 earlier. The dollar/yen was at 101.77 as of 3:47 p.m. HK/SIN. That's down from levels between 104 and 106 last week before the Bank of Japan announced a smaller-than-expected monetary stimulus.
In South Korea, the Kospi slipped 10.58 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,019.03. Chinese mainland shares bucked the trend, closing higher, with the Shanghai composite adding 17.54 points, or 0.59 percent, to 2,970.92 and the Shenzhen composite closing up by 14.04 points, or 0.73 percent, at 1,926.69.
Hong Kong markets didn't open on Tuesday, due to a typhoon warning issued by the Hong Kong Observatory.