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Asian Markets Mostly Higher Despite Trump's Tariff Threat


Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Tuesday following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street after the U.S. and Mexico struck a deal to avoid tariffs being implemented.

Investors shrugged off news that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on China if his counterpart Xi Jinping does not attend the upcoming G-20 meeting in Japan later this month.

Trump also warned Mexico that tariffs will be reinstated if the country's legislative body does not approve an unrevealed, but "very important" part of the U.S.-Mexico deal.

The Australian market, which resumed trading after a holiday on Monday, is advancing following the positive cues from Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 60.10 points or 0.93 percent to 6,504.00, just off a high of 6,504.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 58.70 points or 0.90 percent to 6,583.90.

In the mining space, Fortescue Metals is rising almost 2 percent, BHP Group is advancing more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is adding 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are higher in a range of 0.9 percent to 1.0 percent, while National Australia bank is adding 0.6 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher despite a decline in crude oil prices overnight. Oil Search is rising more than 1 percent and Santos is adding 0.2 percent.

Woodside Petroleum said it expects its 2019 output to be at the lower end of the outlook range due to an extension of turnaround activities at its Pluto liquefied natural gas plant. The company's shares are edging up 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, gold miners are weak after gold prices snapped an eight-session winning streak to close lower overnight. Evolution Mining is losing more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is declining more than 1 percent.

Energy provider AGL Energy has announced a new A$3.02 billion takeover offer for telecom company Vocus Group, after withdrawing its previous offer in May. Shares of Vocus are gaining almost 13 percent, while AGL Energy's shares are losing more than 5 percent.

Star Entertainment Group said it expects full-year earnings to be lower than last year and has brought forward cost management initiatives that are expected to save between A$40 million and A$50 million a year. The casino operator's shares are losing more than 13 percent.

In economic news, Australia will see May results for the indexes of business confidence and conditions from NAB today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6960, up from $0.6969 on Monday.

The Japanese market recovered after a weak start and is higher following the positive cues from Wall Street. However, gains are modest on renewed worries about trade tensions.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 32.71 points or 0.15 percent to 21,167.13, after touching a low of 21,066.62 in early trades. Japanese shares ended near two-weeks high on Monday.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a slightly stronger yen. Mitsubishi Electric is up 0.2 percent, Panasonic is adding 0.3 percent and Canon is higher by almost 1 percent, while Sony is unchanged.

In the auto space, Toyota Motor is adding 0.5 percent, while Honda Motor is lower by 0.2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Tokyo Electron is rising almost 2 percent and Advantest is higher by almost 1 percent.

Among the major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are advancing more than 1 percent each. In the oil sector, Inpex is rising more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

Among the major gainers, Chiyoda Corp. is rising more than 5 percent, Nomura Holdings is higher by more than 3 percent and Cyberagent is advancing almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, NEC Corp., Astellas Pharma and Tokyo Dome are losing more than 1 percent each.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in Japan was up 2.7 percent on year in May, coming in at 1,029.8 trillion yen. That follows the downwardly revised 2.5 percent increase in April.

The M3 money stock advanced an annual 2.3 percent to 1,361.7 trillion yen following the 2.2 percent gain in the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 108 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China is rising more than 1 percent and New Zealand is advancing almost 1 percent. South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also higher, while Indonesia and Malaysia are modestly lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Monday in reaction to news that the U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement to avert President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on all Mexican imports. However, some analysts have questioned the impact of the steps being taken by Mexico, arguing Trump threatened to derail a key economic partnership for a deal that ultimately maintains the status quo.

Trump warned on Twitter this morning that the tariffs will be reinstated if Mexico's legislative body does not approve an unrevealed but "very important" part of the deal.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts, surging up 81.07 points or 1.1 percent to 7,823.17, while the Dow rose 78.74 points or 0.3 percent to 26,062.68 and the S&P 500 climbed 13.39 points or 0.5 percent to 2,886.73.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Monday, although the German markets were closed for a holiday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Monday as concerns over near-term energy demand outweighed prospects of a likely extension of production cuts by OPEC and allies, and slightly easing trade concerns. WTI crude for July declined $0.73 or 1.4 percent to close at $53.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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