Asian Markets Track Global Markets Higher

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Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Friday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as stocks rebounded from recent losses with risk sentiment improving after First Republic Bank and Credit Suisse secured a lifeline, which helped ease recent concerns about turmoil in the banking sector. Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday.

Credit Suisse said it would borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank to enhance its liquidity. Meanwhile, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and several other big banks are reportedly discussing a potential deal with First Republic Bank to shore up the beleaguered lender.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Friday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as improved risk sentiment in the global financial markets contributed to the strength.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 17.40 points or 0.25 percent to 6,982.90, after touching a high of 6,993.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 24.50 points or 0.34 percent to 7,177.20. Australian markets ended sharply lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are gaining almost 2 percent each. OZ Minerals is edging down 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Beach energy is gaining almost 1 percent, Santos is adding almost 2 percent, Woodside Energy is up more than 2 percent and Origin Energy is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is gaining 1.5 percent and Appen is adding almost 1 percent, while Xero is edging down 0.1 percent. WiseTech Global and Zip are flat.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are edging up 0.3 to 0.4 percent each, while National Australia Bank is gaining more than 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are losing more than 2 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is declining almost 5 percent and Evolution Mining sliding more than 5 percent. Resolute Mining is gaining more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.670 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Friday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 moving to just below the 27,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with financial and technology stocks rebounding amid improved risk sentiment in financial markets.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,193.70, up 183.09 points or 0.68 percent, after touching a high of 27,254.36 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are losing almost 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding almost 1 percent, while Screen Holdings is edging down 0.3 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial is gaining more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.3 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is losing almost 1 percent.

Among major exporters, Canon and Panasonic are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while Sony is gaining almost 3 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.5 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Tobu Railway and Hoya are gaining more than 4 percent each, while Keisei Electric Railway is adding more than 3 percent. Daiichi Sankyo, Hitachi and West Japan Railway are up almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Taisei Corp. is plunging almost 9 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 133 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan are all higher by between 0.3 and 1.2 percent each. New Zealand is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks recovered from early weakness and moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session on Thursday. The major averages all showed strong moves to the upside on the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the advance.

While the Nasdaq spiked 283.22 points or 2.5 percent to 11,717.28, closing higher for the fourth straight session, the S&P 500 surged 68.35 points or 1.8 percent to 3,960.28 and the Dow jumped 371.98 points or 1.2 percent to 32,246.55.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index surged by 2.0 percent, the German DAX Index jumped by 1.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher Thursday on reports that Saudi Arabia's energy minister and Russia's deputy prime minister met to discuss about ways to enhance market stability. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April climbed $0.74 or 1.1 percent at $68.35 a barrel.

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