Asian Markets Mostly Higher

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Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with continuing bargain hunting after last week's sell-off and firm commodity prices contributing to the uptick in the markets. Concerns remain as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, forcing countries to impose nationwide as well as local lockdown. Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Monday.

However, the concerns about Fed asset purchase taper faded a bit after data showed a slowdown in U.S. business activity in August. Investors also await the Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole conference later in the week for clues on possible asset purchase tapering timeline.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 breaking back above the 7,500 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with energy and materials stocks out-performing on firm commodity prices.

Meanwhile, the upside is limited as Australia imposed strict lockdown in two of its biggest cities Sydney and Melbourne as it struggles to contain the domestic coronavirus situation, primarily in New South Wales and now in Victoria.

NSW has reported 753 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Victoria also recorded 50 new locally acquired cases, with the active cases totalling 522 across Victoria.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 32.60 points or 0.44 percent to 7,522.50, after touching a high of 7,522.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 33.40 points or 0.43 percent to 7,794.50. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.2 percent. OZ Minerals is up almost 4 percent and Mineral Resources is adding more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are higher after crude oil prices bounced back overnight. Santos and Oil Search are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum is adding almost 3 percent, Beach energy is up more than 3 percent and Origin Energy is edging up 0.2 percent.

Oil Search has bounced back to profit as it recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 oil price crash. It is also closing on sealing a $22 billion deal to merge with larger rival Santos.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.1 percent and Westpac is adding 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank is edging down 0.2 percent and ANZ Banking is flat.

Among tech stocks, Xero and Afterpay are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Appen is adding more than 1 percent. WiseTech Global is losing almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Resolute Mining, Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Northern Star Resources and Gold Road Resources are adding more than 2 percent each.

In other news, shares in Nanosonics are surging more than 16 percent after the infection control biotech company reported that revenues bounced back after a tough first half to the year.

Online marketplace giant Kogan will not pay a final dividend to shareholders after a number of unexpected costs and weaker performance over the second half of 2020-21 saw profits falling 86 percent. The stock is down more than 10 percent.

Shares in Ansell are plunging almost 10 percent despite the profits for the full year at the protective equipment maker jumping 58 percent in constant currency terms on 27 percent revenue growth as there was strong demand due to COVID-19.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.722 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei index just below the 27,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, even as the nation struggles to contain the domestic coronavirus infection rates, with more prefectures and cities under the state of emergency and experts calling for expanding it to the whole country.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,763.43, up 269.19 points or 0.98 percent, after touching a high of 27,817.89 earlier. Japanese shares closed sharply higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is flat and Toyota is gaining almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 3 percent, while Screen Holdings is adding more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is up more than 2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.3 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.2 percent. Mizuho Financial is down 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are higher, with Sony gaining more than 4 percent, while Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are adding more than 1 percent each. Canon is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, JFE Holdings and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines are gaining more than 5 percent each, while Fujikura is adding almost 5 percent. Sumco and Rakuten Group are up more than 4 percent each, while Yamaha, Nippon Yusen K.K., Nippon Steel, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Hino Motors, Nissan Motor, Pacific Metals and M3 are all higher by almost 4 percent each.

Conversely, Showa Denko K.K. is plunging almost 12 percent and Yamaha Motor is losing almost 7 percent, while Olympus and Bridgestone are down almost 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 109 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is soaring 1.7 percent, Hong Kong is surging 1.6 percent Malaysia is adding 1 percent, while China, New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore are higher by between 0.2 and 0.9 percent each. Indonesia is bucking the trend and is down 0.4 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks closed on a strong note on Monday with several counters from across various sectors attracting buyers. Technology stocks had a good outing once again, and contributed significantly to the fairly buoyant mood in the market.

Among the major averages, the Dow ended higher by 215.63 points or 0.61 percent at 35,335.71. The S&P 500 advanced 37.86 points or 0.85 percent to settle at 4,479.53, while the tech-laden Nasdaq closed stronger by 227.99 points or 1.55 percent at 14,942.65.

The major European markets also closed on a firm note on the day, rebounding strongly after recording their biggest weekly loss in several months last week. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX ended 0.28 percent up and France's CAC 40 surged up 0.86 percent.

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher Monday, snapping a seven-day losing streak and posting their biggest single-session gain in five months. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October jumped $3.50 or 5.6 percent at $65.64 a barrel after sinking 9 percent last week.

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