Asian Markets Show Mixed Trend

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Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, supported mainly by crude oil prices, while investors continued to track updates about the spread in the delta variant of the coronavirus in the region, and the news of fresh regulatory crackdowns on Chinese firms. Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Monday.

However, the looming Federal Reserve meeting made traders reluctant to make significant moves. The Fed's two-day monetary policy meeting is scheduled for next week, but recent signs of slowing economic momentum could lead the central bank to hold off on discussing tapering.

The Australian stock market is marginally lower on Tuesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 floating just above the 7,400 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street, with financial and technology stocks dragging the market.

Australia's two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, are still under lockdown as the nation struggles to contain the domestic coronavirus situation, primarily in New South Wales and Victoria.

NSW has reported 1,127 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and two deaths on Monday. Victoria also recorded 445 new locally acquired cases and two deaths, with the active cases totalling 3,799 across Victoria.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 18.40 points or 0.25 percent to 7,406.80, after hitting a low of 7,388.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 17.20 points or 0.22 percent to 7,708.90. Australian stocks closed slightly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is edging down 0.4 percent, Fortescue Metals is down 1.5 percent and Mineral Resources is losing almost 2 percent. OZ Minerals is gaining more than 2 percent and Rio Tinto is flat.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos and Origin Energy are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are adding almost 4 percent each. Beach energy is adding more than 5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are losing almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are edging down 0.3 percent each.

Westpac confirmed that the sale of its Pacific businesses has been blocked by regulators.

Among tech stocks, Xero and Afterpay are losing almost 2 percent each, while Appen is down 1.5 percent and WiseTech Global is declining more than 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Resolute Mining is gaining almost 6 percent and Gold Road Resources is adding more than 2 percent, while Northern Star Resources is up 1.5 percent. Newcrest Mining is flat and Evolution Mining is rising almost 1 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.736 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei index below the 30,600 level after hitting a 31-year high earlier, as the domestic coronavirus case count drops below the 5,000 mark for the first time since late July, rekindling hopes of an early economy recovery.

Traders continue to be optimistic that a new government to implement new economic measures to alleviate the prolonged impact of the pandemic, even as the state of emergency is Tokyo and 18 prefectures were extended until the end of the month.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 30,562.42, up 115.05 points or 0.38 percent, after touching a high of 30,795.78 earlier. Japanese shares closed marginally higher on Monday.

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

In the tech space, Advantest is edging down 0.4 percent, while Screen Holdings is flat and Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.4 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is adding almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher, with Mitsubishi Electric adding almost 1 percent, while Canon and Sony are edging up 0.4 percent each. Panasonic is flat.

Among the other major gainers, Showa Denko K.K. is gaining almost 7 percent and Tokio Marine Holdings is adding almost 6 percent, while Mitsui E&S Holdings and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are up almost 5 percent each. Fujikura is up more than 4 percent, while NTN, Suzuki Motor, Z Holdings and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are rising more than 3 percent each. Marubeni, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Dai-ichi Life, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Citizen Watch and KDDI are all gaining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Konami Holdings is losing 2.5 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 110 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea are gaining between 0.3 and 0.7 percent each, while China, New Zealand and Malaysia are losing between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each. Hong Kong and Taiwan are relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Monday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 both snapping five-session losing streaks. The Nasdaq bucked the uptrend, however, as the tech-heavy index closed lower for the fourth straight session.

The Dow climbed 261.91 points or 0.8 percent to 34,869.63 and the S&P 500 rose 10.15 points or 0.2 percent to 4,468.73. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq climbed off its worst levels but still edged down 9.91 points or 0.1 percent to 15,105.58.

Meanwhile, the major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both climbed by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures showed a notable move to the upside during trading on Monday, reflecting lingering concerns about U.S. supply. After jumping $1.58 or 2.3 percent to $69.72 a barrel last Friday, crude for October delivery climbed $0.73 or 1 percent to $70.45 a barrel.

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