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Asian Markets Mostly Higher

asian up 07oct19 lt

Asian stock markets, led by Japan, are mostly higher on Tuesday as investors shrugged off the modest losses overnight on Wall Street and remained optimistic as they looked ahead to the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks set to begin on Thursday. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington.

The Australian market is extending gains from the previous session despite the modest losses on Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 25.50 points or 0.39 percent to 6,589.10, after rising to a high of 6,592.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 23.40 points or 0.35 percent to 6,710.10. Australian stocks closed higher on Monday.

Oil stocks advanced even as crude oil prices edged lower on Monday. Santos is rising more than 2 percent, Woodside Petroleum is higher by 0.6 percent and Oil Search is adding 0.1 percent.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is higher by more than 1 percent and BHP Billiton is adding 0.4 percent, while Fortescue Metals is declining more than 1 percent.

The big four banks are mixed. National Australia Bank is adding 0.7 percent and Commonwealth Bank is rising 0.6 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are edging down 0.1 percent each.

ANZ Banking has announced another A$559 million in second-half provisions for customer remediation and has now set aside A$1.10 billion of post-tax remediation provisions over the last two years.

Gold miner Evolution Mining is declining more than 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is lower by almost 1 percent after gold prices declined overnight.

Ansell said it will seek shareholder approval at its annual general meeting on November 14 for the on-market buyback of 26.4 million shares. The company plans to continue its share buyback program after failing to find takeover targets. The protective glove manufacturer's shares are rising almost 2 percent.

SeaLink Travel Group has agreed to acquire private bus firm Transit Systems Group in a deal that could be worth A$700 million. The ferry and cruise ship operator's shares are in a trading halt.

In economic news, Australia will see September results for job ads from ANZ as well as the business confidence and conditions indexes from NAB.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6730, down from $0.6748 on Monday.

The Japanese market is advancing as investors digested upbeat Japanese economic data and remained optimistic as they looked ahead to the start of the next round of U.S.-China trade talks on Thursday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 164.91 points or 0.77 percent to 21,540.16 after touching a high of 21,586.90 earlier. Japanese stocks closed lower on Monday.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Canon is advancing almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is rising 0.2 percent and Panasonic is up 0.1 percent while Sony is declining 0.2 percent.

In the auto sector, Toyota Motor is advancing more than 1 percent and Honda Motor is rising 0.4 percent. In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by almost 1 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is adding 0.4 percent, while Fast Retailing is rising more than 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Inpex is advancing almost 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent after crude oil prices edged lower overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Marubeni Corp. is gaining almost 5 percent, IHI Corp. is advancing almost 4 percent and Toho Zinc is rising more than 3 percent.

On the economic front, the Ministry of Finance said that Japan had a current account surplus of 2,157.7 billion yen in August, up 18.3 percent on year. That beat expectations for a surplus of 2,100 billion yen and was up from the 1,999.9 billion yen surplus in July.

The trade balance reflected a surplus of 50.9 billion yen, beating forecasts for 36.4 billion yen following the 74.5 billion yen deficit in the previous month. Imports were down 12.7 percent on year to 6,029.9 billion yen, while exports fell an annual 8.6 percent to 6,080.8 billion yen.

The Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said that the average of household spending in Japan was up 1.0 percent on year in August, coming in at 296,327 yen. That was in line with expectations and up from 0.8 percent in July.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 107 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan are also higher, while New Zealand and Malaysia are modestly lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower in choppy trade on Monday as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the next round of high-level trade talks in Washington later this week. Ahead of the talks, scheduled to begin on Thursday, a report from Bloomberg News said Chinese officials are signaling they're increasingly reluctant to agree to the broad trade deal being pursued by President Donald Trump.

The Dow fell 95.70 points or 0.4 percent to 26,478.02, the Nasdaq dipped 26.18 points or 0.3 percent to 7,956.29 and the S&P 500 slid 13.22 points or 0.5 percent to 2,938.79.

The major European markets moved to the upside on Monday. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures failed to hold early gains and ended slightly weak on Monday. WTI crude for November ended down $0.06 at $52.75 a barrel.

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