Asian Markets Higher On Positive Cues From Wall Street

Asian stock markets are trading higher on Tuesday with the overnight positive close on Wall Street amid some upbeat Chinese economic data and easing worries about the conflict in Syria aiding sentiment.

In the Australian market, financial, healthcare, information technology, mining and property trusts stocks are trading higher, while energy stocks are trading weak.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is up 23.1 points or 0.4 percent at 5,204.6. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 5,202, up 22.6 points or 0.4 percent from its previous close.

Among bank stocks, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are trading notably higher, while ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are up marginally. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queesnland are up 1.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Top miners BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are up 0.7 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Adelaide Brighton, Qantas Airways, Flight Centre, Atlas Iron, Orica, Computershare, Boral, Henderson Group and ResMed Inc. (RMD) are up 1.5 to 3 percent. Downer EDI, Westfield Retail Trust, Telstra Corporation, Aurizon Holdings, Macquarie Group and Alumina (AWC) are also trading notably higher.

Echo Entertainment Group, Newcrest Mining, Lynas Corp., QBE Insurance Group and Caltex Australia are trading weak, losing 1 to 1.6 percent.

Elders Limited shares are up more than 10 percent following an announcement from the company that it will slash its staff by 10 percent as part of more than A$25 million in company cuts.

In economic news, Australia will see September figures for inflation expectations, as well as August results for the NAB business conditions and confidence surveys. Inflation was pegged at 2.3 percent in August, while business confidence saw a score of -3 and conditions were at -7.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher against the U.S. dollar on the back of some upbeat economic data out of China. Around noon, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9247, up 0.5 percent from Monday's close of US$0.9198.

The Japanese stock market is trading sharply higher, with the overnight strong close on Wall Street and easing concerns about the economy triggering some strong buying at several counters.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 14,411 after opening at 14,318.7, was up 151.3 points or 1.1 percent at 14,356.6 when the morning session ended.

Taisei Corp. shares rose 13 percent. Kajima Corp. moved up by over 10 percent and Taiheiyo Cement gained nearly 10 percent.

Shimizu Corp., Obayashi Corp., Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Mitsui OSK Lines, Kesei Electric Railway and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha advanced 4 to 8 percent.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines surged up 4 percent after the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity-shipping prices, posted its biggest advance in more than four years. Komatsu Ltd. shares gained nearly 6 percent on reports that company will see record profit from its parts business.

Sony Corp. (SNE) climbed 2.5 percent up following an announcement from the company that it will start selling its new PS4 video game console in Japan in February 2014.

Nippon Light Metal Holdings, Nomura Holdings, Mitsubishi Estate, Sony Financial Holdings, Nippon Express, JFE Holdings, Pacific Metals and Dai-ichi Life Insurance also rose sharply.

Meanwhile, Advantest Corp. (ATE), Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Tokyo Electric Power, Asahi Group Holdings, Sharp Corp., Pioneer Corp. and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma traded weak, losing 1 to 2.5 percent.

On the economic front, an index measuring the activity of tertiary industry in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in July at 99.9, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Tuesday. That beat forecasts for a contraction of 0.5 percent, which would have been unchanged from the June reading following a downward revision from the -0.3 percent originally reported.

Meanwhile, the M2 money stock in Japan was up 3.7 percent on year in August, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday, standing at 849.9 trillion yen. That was unchanged from the July reading, although it was shy of forecasts for an increase of 3.8 percent.

The M3 money stock was up 3.0 percent on year for the third straight month to 1,160.0 trillion yen, in line with expectations. The L money stock added an annual 3.5 percent to 1,510.6 trillion yen, after rising 3.2 percent in the previous month.

According to the minutes of the Bank of Japan's policy board meeting held on August 7 and 8, members of the bank's board believe that the Japanese economy is beginning to see a moderate recovery.

At the meeting, the BoJ decided to keep its monetary easing program unchanged, as the economy has begun to recover moderately and inflation data has turned positive. The bank retained its plan to increase the monetary base at an annual pace of JPY 60 to 70 trillion, also holding interest rates at the record low of 0.10 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 99 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 99.60 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea are trading notably higher, while Shanghai, New Zealand and Taiwan are up with modest gains.

On Wall Street, stocks rose sharply on Monday, with upbeat Chinese data lifting sentiment. Buying interest was also generated by news that Syria is considering a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons in order to avoid an attack by the U.S.

The Dow jumped 140.6 points or 0.9 percent to 15,062.1, the Nasdaq soared 46.2 points or 1.3 percent to 3,706.2 and the S&P 500 surged up 16.5 points or 1 percent to 1,671.7. With the gain on the day, the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed higher for the fifth consecutive session, reaching its best closing level in almost thirteen years.

Major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Monday. While the German DAX index closed just above the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index dipped by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

U.S. crude oil ended lower on Monday, after scaling a more than two-year high last week on some disappointing jobs data out of the U.S. Oil prices slipped as supply concerns over the Middle East problems linked to Syria abated to an extent.

Crude for October delivery dropped $1.01 or 0.9 percent to close at $109.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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