Asian Markets Trade Mostly Higher

asiaup march18 20dec22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders are indulging in bargain hunting after the recent heavy sell-off on recession fears. Some traders are reluctant to get back into the markets amid lingering concerns of aggressive interest rate hikes continuing in to the next year. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

The Australian stock market is trading sharply higher on Wednesday, snapping a four-session losing streak, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by gold miners and technology stocks. Traders are also picking up stocks at a bargain following the recent losing streak.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 96.40 points or 1.37 percent to 7,120.70, after touching a high of 7,139.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 98.50 points or 1.37 percent to 7,298.10. Australian stocks ended sharply lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Groupis gaining almost 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 2 percent, while Rio Tinto and Mineral Resources are adding more than 1 percent each. OZ Minerals is edging down 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos is gaining 1.5 percent, while Woodside Energy, Origin Energy and Beach energy are adding more than 2 percent each.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 4 percent, Xero is edging up 0.5 percent, Appen is gaining almost 2 percent, WiseTech Global is adding more than 1 percent and Zip is advancing 2.5 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Westpac are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are edging up 0.3 to 0.5 percent each.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is surging more than 5 percent, Gold Road Resources is gaining 4.5 percent and Evolution Mining is soaring almost 7 percent, while Resolute Mining and Northern Star Resources are adding almost 4 percent each.

Other news, shares in TPG Telecom are down almost 4 percent after Australia's competition watchdog has moved to block Telstra and TPG Telecom's $1.8 billion network sharing deal. Telstra is edging up 0.4 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.667 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous four sessions, with the Nikkei 225 staying below the 26,600 level, despite the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, extending the sharp selloff in the second half of Tuesday after a surprise policy shift from the Bank of Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,508.73, down 59.30 points or 0.22percent, after hitting a low of 26,269.80 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing 2.5 percent and Toyota is declining almost 3 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron, Screen Holdings and Advantest are losing more than 1 percent each.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is surging more than 5 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is soaring more than 7 percent and Mizuho Financial is gaining more than 3 percent.

Among the major exporters, Sony is losing more than 1 percent, Canon is declining more than 2 percent, Panasonic is down almost 3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is slipping almost 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, Tokyo Tatemono is losing more than 4 percent and Subaru is down almost 4 percent, while Nissan Motor, Suzuki Motor, Tokyu Fudosan, Fujikura and Taiyo Yuden are slipping more than 3 percent. Hino Motors, Alps Alpine, Mazda Motor, TDK, Marui Group, Furukawa Electric and NTN are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Concordia Financial is gaining more than 4 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Trust and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are adding almost 4 percent each. T&D Holdings, Chiba Bank and Resona Holdings are up almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 132 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1 and 0.7 percent each. Malaysia is bucking the trend and is down 0.2 percent. Singapore is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading session on Tuesday after recovering from an early move to the downside. The major averages climbed well off their early lows and into positive territory.

The major averages all finished the day in the green, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq was little changed, inching up 1.08 points or 0.1 percent to 10,547.11. The Dow rose 92.20 points or 0.3 percent to 32,849.74 and the S&P 500 crept up 3.96 points or 0.1 percent to 3,821.62.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil bounced higher on Tuesday thanks to an improving demand outlook and a slightly weaker dollar. West Texas Intermediate rose $0.83 or 1.10 percent to $76.02 per barrel.

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