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Asian Markets Mostly Higher

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Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Tuesday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with support from crude oil prices and technology stocks that mirrored their peers on Nasdaq. Solid economic data also triggered some buying interest after a notable improvement in U.S. homebuilder confidence in October. The mood also remained cautious amid the coronavirus situation in the region. Asian stocks ended on a mixed note on Monday.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 just a tad below the 7,400 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with strength in technology, energy and financial stocks partially offset by weakness in mining stocks as commodity prices slump.

However, the domestic coronavirus situation, primarily in Victoria, continues to dent investor sentiment. Victoria reported 1,749 new locally acquired cases and eleven deaths on Monday, with the active cases totaling 22,476 across Victoria. NSW has reported only 273 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and four deaths.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 12.60 points or 0.17 percent to 7,393.70, after touching a high of 7,406.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 17.50 points or 0.23 percent to 7,707.20. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Mineral Resources are losing almost 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto is declining almost 3 percent and Fortescue Metals is down more than 2 percent. OZ Minerals is gaining more than 1 percent.

BHP reported a 5 percent drop in iron ore shipments in the first quarter due to maintenance work at its Jimblebar mine in the Pilbara regionand a shortage of workers.

Oil stocks are mostly higher after as crude oil prices edged up overnight. Origin Energy and Beach energy are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Oil Search is adding almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is edging up 0.2 percent. Santos is edging down 0.2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are edging up 0.4 percent each, while Westpac is edging up 0.2 percent. National Australia Bank is flat.

Among tech stocks, Xero, Appen and Afterpay are gaining more than 2 percent each, while WiseTech Global is adding more than 3 percent.

Gold miners are mixed. Gold Road Resources and Resolute Mining are losing more than 2 percent each, while Evolution Mining is declining almost 2 percent. Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.2 percent and Northern Star Resources is also edging up 0.5 percent.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will on Tuesday release the minutes from its monetary policy meeting on October 5. At the meeting, the RBA kept its monetary policy unchanged, leaving the benchmark lending rate steady at the record low of 0.10 percent. The board also voted to continue with the purchase of government securities at the rate of A$4 billion a week until at least mid-February 2022.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.744 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Tuesday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei index above the 29,200 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, as the nation prepares to open up to boost economic activity, even as the prospects of another wave of coronavirus infections looms.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,213.04, up 187.58 points or 0.65 percent, after touching a high of 29,246.81 earlier. Japanese shares closed slightly lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing are gaining more than 1 percent each. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 1 percent and Toyota is down more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are gaining more than 2 percent each, while Screen Holdings is up almost 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are losing almost 1 percent each, while Mizuho Financial down more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mixed. Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic are edging down 0.3 percent each, while Sony is edging up 0.2 percent. Canon is flat.

Among the other major gainers, Rakuten Group is gaining almost 5 percent and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is adding more than 4 percent, while Nippon Yusen K.K. and Toyota Tsusho are rising more than 3 percent each. Nintendo, Japan Steel Works, Kikkoman, CyberAgent, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and BANDAI NAMCO are all up more than 2 percent each.

Conversely, Credit Saison is losing more than 4 percent, Inpex is down almost 4 percent and Taiyo Yuden is lower by more than 3 percent, while Takashimaya, Tokyo Electric Power and J. Front Retailing are down almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 114 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is gaining 1.3 percent and Taiwan is adding 1.1 percent, while New Zealand, China and Singapore are higher by between 0.4 and 0.6 percent each. Markets in Malaysia and Indonesia are closed to honor the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday after moving notably higher last week. The Dow edged modestly lower, while the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 moved to the upside.

The Dow climbed well off its worst levels of the day but still ended the day down 36.15 points or 0.1 percent at 35,258.61. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq advanced 124.47 points or 0.8 percent to 15,021.81 and the S&P 500 rose 15.09 points or 0.3 percent to 4,486.46.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Monday, extending recent gains amid expectations global energy demand will continue to rise following several countries easing travel restrictions. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up by $0.16 or 0.2 percent at $82.44 a barrel.

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