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Asian Markets Trading Mixed

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Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Monday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday and as traders remain cautious amid worries about the economic impact of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and reports of related increasing sanctions on Russia by western countries. Sinking crude oil prices also impacted market sentiment. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday, recouping the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,500 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with gains in materials and gold mining stocks, partially offset by weakness in technology stocks.

Meanwhile, traders continue to monitor the lingering geopolitical situation amid the continued escalation of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the related increasing sanctions on Russia.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 24.80 points or 0.33 percent to 7,518.60, after touching a high of 7,536.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 35.40 points or 0.46 percent to 7,821.30. Australian stocks closed slightly lower on Friday.

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

Oil stocks are mixed, with Beach energy edging down 0.2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy are edging up 0.5 percent each. Santos is flat.

Among tech stocks, Appen is losing more than 1 percent, Block is slipping almost 2 percent, WiseTech Global is slipping almost 1 percent, while Xero is edging up 0.4 percent and Zip is gaining more than 2 percent.

Gold miners are strong. Gold Road Resources and Newcrest Mining are gaining 1.5 percent each, while Resolute Mining is advancing almost 4 percent, Evolution Mining is adding more than 2 percent and Northern Star Resources is rising more than 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are flat, while ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are edging down 0.3 to 0.5 percent each.

In other news, shares in Telix Pharmaceuticals are surging more than 6 percent after the biotech officially launched its first product to market, with its cancer imaging agent Illucix now available in the US.

Shares in Pendal Group soared almost 23 percent after the asset manager received a $2.4 billion takeover offer from investment firm Perpetual.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.751 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Monday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 alternating across the unchanged line to stay below the 27,700 level, despite the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders continue to be cautious amid the potential economic impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis and the increasing sanctions on Russia.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,626.77, down 39.21 points or 0.14 percent, after touching a high of 27,754.24 and a low of 27,578.81 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 4 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is declining almost 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is losing more than 2 percent and Screen Holdings is down almost 3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial edging down 0.3 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down almost 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are mixed, with Panasonic edging up 0.5 percent and Sony gaining more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.2 percent and Canon is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Astellas Pharma, Olympus and M3 are gaining more than 3 percent each, while Shinsei Bank, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Shionogi & Co. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines are all adding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is losing almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 122 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.3 percent each. South Korea and Hong Kong are up 0.3 and 1.1 percent, respectively. Singapore is relatively flat. China is closed for the Qingming Festival and Taiwan is closed for Children's Day.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Friday following the sell-off seen late in the previous session. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing moderately higher.

A late move to the upside helped the major averages finish the day in positive territory. The Dow advanced 139.92 points or 0.4 percent to 34,818.27, the Nasdaq rose 40.98 points or 0.3 percent to 14,261.50 and the S&P 500 climbed 15.45 points or 0.3 percent to 4,545.86.

The major European markets also all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index edged up by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

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