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Asian Markets Exhibit Mixed Trend

asiancommentary dec03 22feb21 lt

Asian stock markets are exhibiting a mixed trend on Tuesday amidst continued worries about inflation and high valuations as well as tracking a weak lead from Wall Street, which closed mostly lower overnight.

The Australian stock market is quite subdued Tuesday morning with investors largely making cautious moves, tracking a weak lead from Wall Street where stocks struggled for support overnight amid concerns a swift economic recovery might stoke inflation.

Energy and mining stocks are faring well tracking higher crude and bullion prices, while consumer discretionary, technology and telecommunications shares are drifting lower.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is up 38.00 points or 0.56 percent at 6,818.90. The broader All Ordinaries Index is at 7,090.20, up 28.60 points or 0.41 percent.

Among the top movers, shares of Corporate Travel Management Limited are climbing more than 9 percent and Silverlake Resources is surging 5 percent.

AUB Group shares are rising nearly 8 percent after the company said it posted a net profit of A$24 million in the first half of financial year 2020, which was up 44.5 percent over the year-ago period.

Adbri Limited shares are up 6 percent after the company reported a net profit of A$93.7 million for the financial year ending December 2020, compared with A$47.3 million in the previous year.

Ramelius Resources is gaining 4.8 percent after reporting a net profit of A$81.3 million for the half year ended December 2020. That was up 297% compared to the corresponding six months in the previous year.

Austal Limited shares are plunging 16 percent. Lynas Rare Earths Limited shares are down 8.2 percent and Perenti Global is lower by about 8 percent. Zip Co and Afterpay are down more than 6 percent from their previous closing levels.

Bank of Queensland Chief George Frazis said the bank acquiring ME Bank for a consideration of $1.325 billion will give BoQ the technology, scale and diversity needed to aggressively take on the big four in home loans and small business banking areas. BoQ hopes to extract $70 million to $80 million in synergy benefits within three years, Frazis said.

In the currency market, the Aussie, which hit a fresh three-year high against the dollar, climbing to 79.29 on Monday, is currently hovering around 79.15 US cents.

On the vaccine front, the rollout is "going according to plan," according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd. According to reports, the second batch of Pfizer vaccines arrived in Australia on Monday night.

The Japanese market is closed on account of Emperor's Birthday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed higher on Monday. In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading steady around 105.02 yen on Tuesday.

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

On the Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a particularly steep drop. The S&P 500 also ended the day firmly in negative territory, while the narrower Dow closed slightly higher.

After falling by more than 200 points in early trading, the Dow edged up 27.37 points or 0.1 percent to 31,521.69. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq plunged 341.42 points or 2.5 percent to 13,533.05 and the S&P 500 slid 30.21 points or 0.8 percent to 3,876.50.

European stocks also saw modest weakness on the day but closed well off their worst levels. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices were higher Tuesday amid concerns about supply. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended higher by $2.25 or 0.2 percent at $61.49 a barrel.

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