Asian stock markets are exhibiting a mixed trend amid stock specific activity on Monday. Though most of the markets in the region started off on a firm note thanks to a positive lead from Wall Street on Friday, some of them retreated from higher levels due to profit taking and are trading slightly weak.
In the Australian market, mining, energy, financial, industrial and information technology stocks are mostly up with strong gains.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which advanced to 4,126.9, is currently trading at 4,112, up 29.8 points or 0.7 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 30.2 points or 0.9 percent at 4,148.5.
In the mining space, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are up 1.5 to 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is trading higher by over 3 percent.
Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are up 1.8 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Santos is up 0.8 percent and Origin Energy is adding about 0.7 percent, while Caltex Australia is up marginally.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank and Westpac are trading up by more than a percent each, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are up 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is gaining 1.6 percent and Bank of Queensland is trading 1.8 percent up.
Whitehaven Coal shares are up more than 15 percent on hectic buying at the counter following billionaire Nathan Tinkler making a formal bid for the company.
Bluescope Steel is gaining more than 4.5 percent. QR National, Boart Longyear and Regis Resources are trading higher by 3.2 to 3.5 percent.
Arrium, Beach Energy, Perseus Mining and Iluka Resources are up 2 to 3 percent.
Oz Minerals, Lynas Corporation, Sims Metal Management, Amcor and Seek are also trading notably higher.
Seven West Media is set to announce details of a capital raising believed to be worth about A$450 million. The company's shares are currently under a trading halt.
On the economic front, Australia's total personal finance loans rose 0.4 per cent in May, official figures show. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday said seasonally-adjusted personal finance commitments increased to A$7.348 billion in May, up from A$7.315 billion in April.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia and Malaysia are trading notably higher. Hong Kong and Singapore are up with modest gains, while Shanghai, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan are trading weak. The Japanese market is closed for the Marine Day holiday.
On Wall Street, stocks moved up sharply on Friday with traders reacting positively to some positive economic data from China and JPMorgan's strong quarterly results.
The Dow jumped 203.8 points or 1.6 percent to 12,777.1, the Nasdaq surged up 42.3 points or 1.5 percent to 2,908.5 and the S&P 500 soared 22 points or 1.7 percent to 1,356.8.
Major European markets too ended notably higher. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index advanced by 1 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index gained 1.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices ended higher on Friday on encouraging economic data from China. Crude for August delivery surged $1.02 to close at $87.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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