Moves in the oil markets were front and center after prices surged to their highest levels since July 2015 on Monday. That rise followed a political crackdown in Saudi Arabia that began during the weekend. A supposed anti-corruption crackdown resulted in the arrests of billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and other prominent royals, but it is seen by many analysts as a move by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to consolidate his power.
Oil was little changed on Tuesday after settling higher by some 3 percent in the last session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.09 percent to trade at $57.30 a barrel and Brent crude futures lost 0.06 percent to trade at $64.23.
Tensions in the region will need to be monitored going forward, cautioned Philip Wee, a strategist at DBS Bank. Volatility indices stateside, which touched their lowest levels this year last week, are unlikely to remain low "if crude oil prices continue to push higher quickly," he added.
The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday kept interest rates steady. In his statement, RBA Governor Philip Lowe cautioned that inflation remained low, but also noted that the bank expected the metric to "pick up gradually as the economy strengthen[ed]."
The Australian dollar traded at $0.7673 at 2:53 p.m. HK/SIN, a touch softer on the day, although the currency had touched a high of $0.7700 following the news from the central bank.
Elsewhere, William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, will step down mid-2018. Dudley has been at the helm of the bank since 2009.