Asian Markets Advance Ahead Of U.S. Presidential Election

asiancommentary aug17 02nov20 lt

Asian stock markets are rising on Tuesday as upbeat manufacturing activity data from the U.S, Europe and China helped offset worries about the surge in global coronavirus cases and uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. The Japanese market is closed for a holiday.

The Australian market is notably higher following the positive cues from Wall Street. Investors now look ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy decision due later today. The RBA is expected to trim its benchmark lending rate by 15 basis points to 0.10 percent from 0.25 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 96.70 points or 1.62 percent to 6,048.00, off a high of 6,050.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is advancing 100.20 points or 1.63 percent to 6,247.60. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are rising more than 2 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 1 percent.

Gold miner Evolution Mining is higher by more than 2 percent and peer Newcrest Mining is rising almost 2 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are higher in a range of 1.1 percent to 1.8 percent, while Westpac is edging up 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are surging after crude oil prices rose overnight. Oil Search is gaining more than 6 percent, while Santos and Woodside Petroleum are rising more than 5 percent each.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea and Hong Kong are rising almost 2 percent each, while Shanghai, Singapore and Taiwan are all advancing more than 1 percent each. New Zealand and Indonesia are also higher, while Malaysia is edging lower. The Japanese market is closed in observance of Culture Day.

On Wall Street, stocks ended on a buoyant note on Monday, as bargain hunting after recent sharp losses, and a report showing another acceleration in U.S. manufacturing activity pushed up prices. Encouraging economic data from China and the Euro zone also helped outweigh concerns about rising coronavirus cases and fresh lockdown measures as well as uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election.

The Dow surged up 423.45 points or 1.6 percent to 26,925.05, the S&P 500 moved up 40.28 points or 1.23 percent to settle at 3,310.24 and the Nasdaq firmed up 46.02 points or 0.42 percent to 10,957.61.

The major European markets also closed sharply higher on Monday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 1.39 percent, Germany's DAX surged up 2.01 percent and France's CAC 40 moved up 2.11 percent.

Crude oil prices rebounded after early weakness on Monday and the near-month futures contract closed notably higher, lifted by data showing another expansion in U.S. manufacturing sector activity. WTI crude for December ended up $1.02 or about 2.8 percent at $36.81 a barrel.

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