In the currency market, the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1141% briefly traded over 80 Japanese yen for the first time since early July, up from ¥79.91 on Monday, before falling back to ¥79.77 as immediate central bank-easing hopes faded. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561215/realtime/sampled EURJPY +0.0715% reached its highest point against the yen since May but then also retreated.
Despite the yen’s rebound, the dollar was still at relatively elevated levels against the Japanese currency, and some exporters held their gains in Tokyo on Tuesday, with Casio Computer Co. /zigman2/quotes/202492162/delayed JP:6952 +1.93% /zigman2/quotes/206719136/composite CSIOY +4.80% trading up 2.8%, Nikon Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed JP:7731 +1.95% /zigman2/quotes/209396469/composite NINOY +2.45% adding 1.6% and Panasonic Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 +0.94% nudging ahead by 0.6%.
In focus: Fuji Heavy and Korean steel makers
Meanwhile, shares of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203522406/delayed JP:7270 +2.54% /zigman2/quotes/203008939/composite FUJHF +3.46% , maker of Subaru brand vehicles, gained 3.8% after raising its net profit view to ¥40 billion from a prior estimate of ¥23 billion.
In South Korea, steel makers were adding pressure to the market, with Posco /zigman2/quotes/201759282/delayed KR:005490 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/209201002/composite PKX +2.21% , the world’s fourth-largest producer, trading 2.1% lower ahead of its earnings report due late Tuesday.
Standard & Poor’s downgraded its long-term-debt rating on Posco to BBB+ from A- late Monday, saying that the firm will struggle to secure financing and that its operational performance will likely be weaker than previously expected.
Mainland-listed Chinese commodity firms were weak, with Aluminum Corp. of China /zigman2/quotes/210453246/delayed CN:601600 -1.52% /zigman2/quotes/208051344/composite ACH -2.35% trading down 1% in Shanghai.
Mainland steel makers were also lower amid expected sluggish earnings and what’s believed to be government plans for a forced consolidation of the sector. Shares of Angang Steel Co. /zigman2/quotes/207174324/delayed CN:000898 +0.75% fell 1.4% as Baoshan Iron & Steel /zigman2/quotes/203255146/delayed CN:600019 +0.41% retreated 0.2%.
And Air China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203341301/delayed CN:601111 +4.10% dropped 1% after abandoning a plan to raise funds in a private placement with China National Aviation Holding Co., its state-owned parent. Tuesday’s session marked the first for the Beijing-based carrier since its shares were suspended earlier in October.
In Australia, commodity extractors underpinned gains for Sydney stocks, with Oz Minerals Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208047353/delayed AU:OZL +0.36% up 1.9% after saying that it’s on track to meet its fiscal-year production targets for copper and gold.
Also in the sector, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -0.06% /zigman2/quotes/204116626/composite FSUMF +0.54% advanced 1.7% while Rio Tinto Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +1.11% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +1.58% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +1.58% rose 0.1%.