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Asian Markets Mostly Higher

asianmarkets dec19 26jul20 lt

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Monday despite the negative cues from Wall Street Friday. Hopes for more stimulus measures in major economies and data showing that China's industrial profits rose in June for a second straight month helped offset worries about rising U.S.-China tensions and the surge in coronavirus cases worldwide.

The Australian market climbed into positive territory after opening lower following the negative cues from Wall Street. Gold miners are among the notable gainers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 19.20 points or 0.32 percent to 6,043.20, after touching a low of 6013.10. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 21.70 points or 0.35 percent to 6,169.70. Australian stocks closed notably lower on Friday.

Gold miners are higher after safe-haven gold prices rose to new record high on Friday. Evolution Mining is advancing more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding more than 1 percent.

Lynas Corp. said it has signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to begin initial work for a heavy rare earth separation facility in Texas. Shares of the rare earths producer are gaining more than 8 percent.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is lower by almost 1 percent and BHP Group is down 0.1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is edging up 0.1 percent.

The big four banks are mixed. ANZ Banking is lower by 0.2 percent and Westpac is down 0.1 percent, while National Australia Bank is adding 0.2 percent and Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the oil sector, Santos is losing almost 3 percent, Oil Search is lower by almost 2 percent and Woodside Petroleum is declining more than 1 percent, even asr crude oil prices rose on Friday.

Perpetual said it has agreed to acquire U.S.-based investment management business Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss LLC for $319 million. The fund manager's shares are in a trading halt until Wednesday.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is almost unchanged against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was quoted at $0.7096, compared to $0.7094 on Friday.

The Japanese market, which resumed trading after a four-day holiday, is declining following the negative cues from Wall Street. Investor sentiment was dampened after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 239 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, topping 200 cases for the sixth straight day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 171.16 points or 0.75 percent to 22,580.45, after falling to a low of 22,429.57 in early trades.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is advancing more than 1 percent, while Fast Retailing is declining 0.6 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is losing more than 2 percent and Advantest is lower by almost 2 percent, tracking the losses by their U.S. counterparts on Friday.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is declining almost 2 percent and Inpex is down 0.5 percent even as crude oil prices rose on Friday.

The major exporters are lower on a stronger safe-haven yen. Canon, Panasonic and Sony are down more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is down 0.6 percent.

In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are lower by 1 percent each. Among automakers, Honda is declining more than 1 percent and Toyota is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, J Front Retailing is rising more than 2 percent, while Tokyo Gas, Nitto Denko, Matsui Securities and Daiichi Sankyo are higher by more than 1 percent.

Conversely, Daiwa House Industry is losing almost 2 percent, while Shimizu Corp. and Haseko Corp. are lower by more than 1 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan will see final May results for its leading and coincident indexes as well as May figures for its all industry activity index.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 105 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is rising more than 2 percent and South Korea is advancing more than 1 percent, while Shanghai, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong are also higher. Meanwhile, New Zealand is lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday as semiconductor giant Intel came under pressure after reporting better-than-expected second quarter results but warning of further delays in production of its next-generation chips. Concerns about rising tensions between the U.S. and China also weighed on the markets after Beijing decided to revoke the license for the establishment and operation of the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu. The move comes just days after the U.S. government ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, amid accusations Chinese diplomats aided in economic espionage and the attempted theft of scientific research.

The Dow slid 182.44 points or 0.7 percent to 26,469.89, the Nasdaq slumped 98.24 points or 0.9 percent to 10,363.18 and the S&P 500 fell 20.03 points or 0.6 percent to 3,215.63.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to the downside on Friday. While the German DAX Index tumbled by 2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices edged higher on Friday despite concerns about an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and China, as stronger-than-expected economic data from Europe and the U.S. helped ease worries about energy demand outlook a bit. WTI crude for September added $0.22 or about 0.5 percent to $41.29 a barrel.

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