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Asian Markets Mostly Higher

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Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Monday following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday after mixed U.S. jobs data for September reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will continue cutting interest rates, while offsetting concerns about a potential recession.

Investors turned cautious after Bloomberg reported that China may be increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal with the U.S. in the trade talks set to begin on Thursday.

The Australian market is rising following the positive lead from Wall Street on Friday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 27.20 points or 0.42 percent to 6,544.30, after rising to a high of 6,557.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 29.40 points or 0.44 percent to 6,666.30. Australian stocks closed higher on Friday.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is rising almost 2 percent, Rio Tinto is higher by 0.6 percent and BHP Billiton is adding 0.4 percent.

Oil stocks also advanced after crude oil prices snapped an eight-session losing streak and closed higher on Friday. Woodside Petroleum is higher by more than 1 percent, Santos is rising 0.7 percent and Oil Search is adding 0.6 percent.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank - are up in a range of 0.4 percent to 0.9 percent.

MyState Ltd. has appointed Gary Dickson, the former CFO of ME Bank, as its interim CFO. Shares of the Tasmania-based lender are rising 0.4 percent.

Gold miner Evolution Mining is higher by almost 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising almost 1 percent even as gold prices edged lower on Friday.

Nine Entertainment Co. said it has acquired a 92.8 percent stake in Macquarie Media, allowing it to compulsorily buy the remaining shares and bring the radio network under its full ownership. However, Nine Entertainment's shares are declining more than 1 percent.

In economic news, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the construction sector in Australia continued to contract in September, and at a faster rate, with a seasonally adjusted Performance of Construction Index score of 42.6. That's down from 44.6 in August and it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6763, up from $0.6754 on Friday.

The Japanese market opened higher tracking the positive cues from Wall Street, but slipped into negative territory after Bloomberg reported that China may be increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal with the U.S.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 69.38 points or 0.32 percent to 21,340.82, after touching a high of 21,475.28 earlier. Japanese stocks closed higher on Friday.

The major exporters are lower on a stronger safe-haven yen. Canon is lower by more than 1 percent, Panasonic is declining 0.7 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is losing 0.6 percent and Sony is down 0.2 percent.

In the auto sector, Honda Motor is lower by almost 2 percent and Toyota Motor is down 0.2 percent. In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is losing more than 1 percent and Advantest is declining almost 1 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is rising 0.3 percent, while Fast Retailing is down 0.5 percent.

Among oil stocks, Inpex is declining more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent even as crude oil prices snapped an eight-session streak to close higher on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Taiyo Yuden is rising more than 2 percent, while M3 Inc. is higher by almost 2 percent.

On the flip side, Seiko Epson is losing almost 3 percent, while Otsuka Holdings and Nikon Corp. are lower by more than 2 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan is scheduled to release preliminary figures for its leading and coincident indexes as well as September numbers for the eco watchers survey today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 106 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are also higher, while South Korea is modestly lower. The markets in China and Hong Kong are closed on Monday for public holidays.

On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Friday following the release of a closely watched Labor Department report showing weaker than expected job growth in September, but an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate to a nearly 50-year low. The mixed data seemed to serve the dual purpose of reinforcing expectations the Federal Reserve will continue cutting interest rates while at the same offsetting concerns about a potential recession.

The Dow soared 372.68 points or 1.4 percent to 26,573.72, the Nasdaq surged up 110.21 points or 1.4 percent to 7,982.47 and the S&P 500 spiked 41.38 points or 1.4 percent to 2,952.01.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index surged up by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil prices snapped an eight-session losing streak and rose on Friday, after fairly decent monthly jobs data from the U.S. Labor Department eased concerns about growth in the world's largest economy and the outlook for energy demand. WTI crude for November ended up $0.36, or about 0.7 percent, at $52.81 a barrel.

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