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Asian Markets Track Global Markets Higher

asianup march05 23nov22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted positively to the minutes of the US Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, which provided further evidence the central bank is considering slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes. Asian Markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday.

The minutes said a "substantial majority" of meeting participants judged that a slowing in the pace of rate hikes would likely "soon be appropriate" amid rising recession fears. A slower pace of rate hikes would better allow the Fed to assess progress toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability, the minutes said.

However, a few other participates suggested it could be advantageous to wait until the rates were more clearly in restrictive territory and there were more concrete signs that inflation pressures were receding significantly before slowing the pace of rate hikes.

The minutes also said participants agreed further interest rate increases would be appropriate in order to attain a sufficiently restrictive stance to bring inflation down over time.

The central bank's next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for December 13-14, with CME Group's FedWatch Tool currently indicating a 75.8 percent chance of a 50 basis point rate hike and a 24.2 percent chance of another 75 basis point rate hike.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,300 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with mining and technology stocks leading the charge.

Traders reacted positively to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, which suggested slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 25.70 points or 0.36 percent to 7,257.50, after touching a high of 7,262.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 25.10 points or 0.34 percent to 7,447.50. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group is gaining almost 2 percent, Rio Tinto is adding almost 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 1 percent, while Mineral Resources and OZ Minerals are edging down 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.

Oil stocks are mixed. Beach energy is edging up 0.4 percent and Origin Energy is gaining more than 1 percent, while Woodside Energy and Santos are edging down 0.3 percent each.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is edging up 0.3 percent, WiseTech Global is gaining almost 3 percent, Xero is adding almost 1 percent and Zip is surging almost 5 percent. Appen is flat.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are all edging down 0.1 to 0.2 percent each.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources, Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are gaining almost 3 percent each, while Evolution Mining is surging almost 6 percent and Resolute Mining is advancing almost 4 percent.

In other news, shares in Kogan are soaring more than 10 percent after the retailer said it is on course to "historical operating margins during the second half of FY23."

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.675 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,400 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with strength in technology and financial stocks lifting the market.

Traders reacted positively to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, which suggested slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 332.84 points or 1.18 percent to 28,448.58, after touching a high of 28,502.29 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly higher on Tuesday prior to the public holiday on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is up almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is edging down 0.2 percent, while Honda is edging up 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are gaining almost 4 percent each, while Advantest is advancing more than 4 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining more than 2 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Among the major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Panasonic and Canon are edging down 0.4 to 0.5 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, CyberAgent is surging more than 6 percent and Nippon Yusen K.K. is gaining more than 5 percent, while NEXON and M3 are gaining more than 4 percent. Z Holdings, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Hitachi Zosen are advancing almost 4 percent each, while Eisai, Konami Group, Mitsui & Co., Keyence and Minebea Mitsumi are adding more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no other major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 138 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Malaysia is up 1.4 percent, while China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1 and 1.7 percent each. New Zealand is bucking the trend and is down 0.3 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday before eventually closing mostly higher. The major averages added to the strong gains posted on Tuesday, with the Dow reaching a seven-month closing high.

The major averages all finished the day in positive territory, led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq. While the Nasdaq jumped 110.91 points or 1.0 percent to 11,285.32, the S&P 500 climbed 23.68 points or 0.6 percent to 4,027.26 and the Dow rose 95.96 points or 0.3 percent to 34,194.06.

The major European markets also showed modest moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index closed just above the unchanged line, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday, weighed down by news that the Group of Seven nations has considered a price cap on Russian oil and data showing a bigger than expected jump in U.S. gasoline stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $3.01 or about 3.7% at $77.94 a barrel.

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