Asian stock markets are mostly trading in positive territory on Tuesday with investors picking up stocks, betting on hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe will come out with further stimulus to boost their sagging economies. Some regional economic data too is contributing to the rise in stock prices.
After a somewhat shaky start, the Australian market rallied smartly as investors shrugged off economic concerns and picked up stocks, betting on fresh stimulus from global central banks.
Energy, mining, financial, consumer staples and information technology stocks are moving higher, while healthcare and consumer discretionary stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is up 32.8 points or 0.8 percent at 4,278.5. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,297.5, up 30.6 points or 0.7 percent from its previous close.
Duet Group shares are up nearly 5 percent. Lynas Corporation is trading 4.8 percent up. Bluescope Steel, Paladin Energy, Origin Energy and Qantas Airways are up 3 to 4 percent.
Incitec Pivot, Atlas Iron, Beach Energy, JB Hi-Fi, Westfield Group, Woodside Petroleum, Dexus Property Group, Rio Tinto (RIO: Quote,RIO.L) and Monadelphous Group are also trading sharply higher.
Campbell Brothers is plunging by over 12 percent. Fairfax Media and Boart Longyear are trading lower by over 4 percent.
Panaust is down with a loss of 2.8 percent. Arrium, Whitehaven Coal and ResMed Inc (RMD: Quote) are also trading notably lower. In addition, Regis Resources, Iluka Resources, Challenger, Macquarie Group and Bank of Queensland are trading lower.
Caltex Australia said it plans to raise A$300 million through capital markets to help fund changes to its operations. The oil refiner will issue subordinated notes, priced at A$100 each, to retail and institutional investors to raise the funds. The company's shares are currently trading flat.
Metcash Ltd. said it has paid A$46.5 million to take complete ownership of hardware chain Mitre 10. The stock is currently trading lower by about 0.3 percent.
In economic news, the number of dwelling units approved in Australia dropped in June, but the rate of decline was weaker than expected by economists, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
As many as 13,336 dwelling units were approved in June, which was 2.5 percent less than a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. Economists expected a decline of 15 percent after a strong 27 percent gain in the previous month.
The seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector houses fell 1.1 percent in June following a rise of 7.3 percent in the previous month. Year-on-year, total dwelling permits increased 10.2 percent. Approvals for private houses declined 7.7 percent annually.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher and was quoting at US$1.0502 in early trades, up 0.3 percent from Monday's close of US$1.0465.
After a weak start following a bout of profit taking, the Japanese stock market rebounded into positive territory with stocks finding a bit of support at lower levels.
The yen's surge against the U.S. dollar and the euro, and caution ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meeting too contributed to the negative start in the market.
Shares from financial, shipbuilding, securities, transport and non-ferrous metals sections opened on a weak note, but recovered well as the session progressed. Railway, foods, electric power and chemicals stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which declined to around 8,590 in early trades, was up 44 points or 0.5 percent at 8,679.5 when the morning session ended.
Among the prominent gainers in the Nikkei index, Fujikura surged nearly 9 percent, Advantest Corp (ATE: Quote) moved up 5.5 percent, Kansai Electric Power advanced by 5.3 percent up and NEC Corp added about 5 percent.
Panasonic Corp (PC: Quote) gained nearly 5 percent after the company said it posted a net profit of over 10 billion yen in the April-June quarter.
NGK Insulators, Sharp Corp, Canon Inc, Tokyo Electric Power, Nippon Electric Glass, Toshiba Corp, Nippon Steel Corp, Pioneer Corp, Sumitomo Metal Industries, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Hitachi gained 1.5 to 5 percent.
Chubu Electric Power lost over 5.5 percent. Fanuc Corp and Mitsubishi Paper Mills drifted down by around 4.5 percent. Aozora Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc, NTT Data Corp and Fukoka Financial Group Inc lost more than 3 percent.
Nippon Sheet Glass, Tosoh Corp, Daiichi Sankyo, Mitsui Chemicals, Japan Steel Works, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU: Quote), Shizuoka Bank, Toho Zinc and Secom Co. also lost significant ground in early trades.
On the economic front, the average of monthly consumption expenditures per household in Japan was up 1.6 percent on year in June, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday, standing at 269,810 yen. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 2.9 percent following the 4.0 percent surge in May.
The average of monthly income per household stood at 712,592 yen, down 3.8 percent on year. The average of consumption expenditures per household was 292,937 yen, up 2.5 percent on year.
According to another report from the same ministry, the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent in June. That beat forecasts for 4.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month's reading.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 78-yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 78.21 to the dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan are trading notably higher. Indonesia is up with modest gains, while Shanghai, Malaysia and Singapore are down marginally. Markets across the region ended higher on Monday.
On Wall Street, stocks ended with mild losses on Monday after a choppy ride. The market failed to gain significant momentum as traders chose to wait for some clear direction.
The Dow ended down 2.6 points, or less than 0.1 percent, at 12,073. The S&P 500 dipped less than a point to close at 1,385.3 and the Nasdaq closed down 12.3 points or 0.4 percent at 2,945.8.
Major European markets ended notably higher on Monday. While the French CAC 40 index gained 1.4 percent, the German DAX index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index moved up by 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil snapped a four-day winning streak to settle lower on Monday, on investor anxiety ahead of the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve policy meeting later this week.
Crude for September delivery dropped $0.35 or 0.4 percent to close at $89.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after hitting a high of $90.95 a barrel intraday.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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