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Asian Markets In Positive Territory

asiancommentary dec19 29jun20 lt

Asian stock markets are in positive territory on Tuesday following the strong gains overnight on Wall Street as investor sentiment was bolstered by upbeat U.S. housing data and hopes of more stimulus measures, which offset worries about the sharp spikes in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Data showing that China's manufacturing sector expanded more than expected in June also boosted stocks.

The Australian market is rising following the positive cues from Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 102.70 points or 1.77 percent to 5,917.70, after rising to a high of 5,925.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 103.60 points or 1.75 percent to 6,019.20. Australian stocks closed notably lower on Monday.

Oil stocks are gaining after crude oil prices rose more than 3 percent overnight. Woodside Petroleum is rising almost 3 percent, while Santos and Oil Search are higher by more than 2 percent each.

In the banking sector, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are higher in a range of 2 percent to 2.6 percent. Commonwealth Bank is advancing more than 1 percent.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is rising 0.6 percent and BHP is adding 0.5 percent, while Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.1 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are lower after gold prices ended almost unchanged overnight. Newcrest Mining is declining more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is down 0.4 percent.

SCentre Group said customer visits at its Westfield shopping centres in Australia are at 86 percent of the level in the year-ago period and more stores will reopen next month following the relaxation in coronavirus restrictions. Shares of SCentre Group are gaining almost 4 percent.

On the economic front, the Reserve Bank of Australia said that private sector credit issued in Australia was down 0.1 percent on month in May, shy of expectations for 0.2 percent following the flat reading in April.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6873, compared to $0.6884 on Monday.

The Japanese market is notably higher and the safe-haven yen weakened following the overnight gains on Wall Street. Investors shrugged off weak Japanese economic data as well as the rising number of new coronavirus cases in Tokyo.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 411.23 points or 1.87 percent to 22,406.27, off a high of 22,409.28 earlier. Japanese shares closed sharply lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing are advancing more than 1 percent each.

In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is higher by almost 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ is adding almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are rising more than 3 percent each, while Canon and Sony are adding more than 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is higher by almost 3 percent and Toyota is up more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is rising more than 2 percent and Inpex is adding almost 2 percent after crude oil prices rose overnight.

Among the major gainers, IHI Corp. is rising more than 5 percent, Nippon Sheet Glass is gaining 5 percent and Seiko Epson is higher by almost 5 percent.

On the flip side, J Front Retailing is lower by more than 2 percent.

In economic news, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that industrial output in Japan plummeted 25.9 percent on year in May. That was well shy of expectations for a drop of 11.3 percent following the 15.0 percent decline in the previous month.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent in May, missing expectations for 2.8 percent, and up from 2.6 percent in April.

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

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand are all rising more than 1 percent each, while Shanghai, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong are also higher.

On Wall Street, stocks ended on a buoyant note on Monday despite several states in the country reporting sharp spikes in new coronavirus cases over the weekend. Investors surprisingly shrugged off the report about the spread of the coronavirus, and kept picking up stocks, betting on hopes the central bank will come with more stimulus sometime in the near futures. Boeing's shares soared more than 14 percent after the company got permission to test flights using the 737 Max.

The Dow ended up 580.25 points or 2.3 percent at 15595.80, the best closing level in nearly four weeks. The S&P 500 climbed 1.5 percent to 3,053.24 and the Nasdaq advanced 1.2 percent to 9,874.15.

The major European markets also closed higher on Monday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 1.08 percent, Germany's DAX gained 1.18 percent and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.73 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Monday despite concerns about the outlook for energy demand amid sharp spikes in new cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and several other parts across the globe. WTI crude for August rose $1.21 or about 3.1 percent at $39.70 a barrel.

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