Asian Markets Track Global Markets Higher

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted to weak US PMI data that raised hopes the US Fed would end its tightening campaign to avert a recession. They also remain largely cautious, awaiting US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium this week for more clues about the economy and interest-rate outlook. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

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 above the 7,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by technology stocks and gold miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 29.70 points or 0.22 percent to 7,178.10, after touching a high of 7,184.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 27.70 points or 0.38 percent to 7,395.30. Australian stocks ended notably higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Mineral Resources are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is edging up 0.4 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos, Beach energy and Woodside Energy are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while Origin Energy is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 2 percent, Xero is advancing almost 3 percent, Appen is surging more than 7 percent and Zip is adding more than 1 percent, while WiseTech Global is edging down 0.3 percent.

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

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is gaining almost 3 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding 1.5 percent, Gold Road Resources is advancing almost 2 percent and Northern Star Resources is surging almost 5 percent, while Resolute Mining is losing 1.5 percent.

In other news, shares in Insignia Financial are plunging more than 11 percent after the funds management group posted a full-year underlying net profit that was down 15 percent from last year.

Shares in Ramsay Healthcare are sliding almost 10 percent following its full-year report. Dividends came in 48 percent lower than last year.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.647 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 31,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, boosted by gains in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,146.33, up 136.07 points or 0.43 percent, after touching a high of 32,199.12 earlier. Japanese stocks closed notably higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is edging down 0.4 percent and Honda is losing almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Advantest are adding more than 2 percent each.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, while Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each.

Among the major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is gaining almost 1 percent and Panasonic is advancing almost 2 percent, while Sony is declining almost 1 percent. Canon is flat.

Among other major gainers, Pacific Metals is losing more than 3 percent.

Conversely, there are no other major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 145 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are up between 1.0 and 1.3 percent each, while Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1and 0.2 percent each. New Zealand is bucking the trend and is down 0.5 percent. China is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day on Wednesday, with the major averages all moving to the upside after ending Tuesday’s session mixed. The Nasdaq led the charge amid a rally by technology stocks.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Nasdaq surged 215.16 points or 1.6 percent to 13,721.03, the S&P 500 jumped 48.46 points or 1.1 percent to 4,436.01 and the Dow climbed 184.15 points or 0.5 percent to 34,472.98.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the German DAX Index rose by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil futures settled lower Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for oil demand after data showed a decline in global manufacturing activity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended lower by $0.75 or 0.9 percent at $78.89 a barrel.

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