Asian Markets Mostly Higher On Global Cues

asianup march01 23jan23 lt

Asian stock markets are mostly higher in thin holiday trading on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, boosted by strong gains in technology stocks, which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Traders are also optimistic the US Fed will slow the pace of interest rate hikes after data showed a drop in US consumer prices. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday.

Traders now look ahead to next week's US Fed's monetary policy meeting, where the Fed is widely expected to further slow the pace of rate hikes to 25 basis points. Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on Friday that he supported a quarter percentage point rate hike at the February meeting as inflation and wages continued to moderate.

The Australian stock market slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous four sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving to a tad below the 7,500 level at nine-month highs, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in technology and mining stocks partially offset by weakness in financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 40.00 points or 0.54 percent to 7,497.30, after touching a high of 7,496.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 42.80 points or 0.56 percent to 7,717.00. Australian stocks closed slightly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.4 percent, Mineral Resources is gaining more than 4 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding almost 1 percent, while Rio Tinto is edging down 0.1 percent. OZ Minerals is flat.

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

Among tech stocks, Appen is gaining almost 3 percent, Xero is adding almost 1 percent, Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 6 percent and WiseTech Global is edging up 0.5 percent. Zip is plunging more than 7 percent despite the buy-now-pay-later firm announcing a 12 percent growth in revenues to $188 million for the December quarter.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are adding more than 1 percent each, while Resolute Mining is gaining 3.5 percent and Newcrest Mining is up almost 1 percent. Gold Road Resources is edging down 0.3 percent.

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

In other news, shares in Myer are gaining more than 5 percent after the department store posted its strongest sales in almost 20 months in the five months ended December 31.

In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia slipped into contraction territory in January, the latest survey from Judo Bank revealed on Tuesday with a 32-month low manufacturing PMI score of 49.8. That's down from 50.2 in December and it falls beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The survey also showed that Australia's services PMI improved to a three-month high of 48.3, up from 47.3 in December. The composite index also hit a three-month high by improving to 48.2 from 47.5.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.704 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 27,300 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,339.61, up 433.57 points or 1.61 percent, after touching a high of 27,359.93 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Monday.

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

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

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is adding almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher. Canon, Sony and Panasonic are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Ebara is surging more than 5 percent, Sumco is gaining more than 4 percent and GS Yuasa is adding almost 4 percent, while Hoya, Mitsubishi Electric and OKUMA are up more than 3 percent each. NEXON, Mitsubishi, Resonac Holdings and Sumitomo Metal Mining are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 130 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand is up 0.1 percent and Indonesia is relatively flat. Most of the other regional markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, including South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

On the Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session on Monday, extending the significant rebound seen last Friday. With the continued upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in over a month.

The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session late in the day but remained firmly positive. While the Nasdaq soared 223.98 points or 2.0 percent to 11,364.41, the S&P 500 jumped 47.20 points or 1.2 percent to 4,019.81 and the Dow climbed 254.07 points or 0.8 percent to 33,62.56.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices failed to hold early gains and settled roughly flat on Monday amid concerns about the outlook for oil demand due to a potential U.S. recession. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March settled at $81.62 a barrel, down 2 cents from the previous close, after climbing to a high of $82.64 a barrel around noon before paring gains.

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