Asian Markets Track Global Markets Higher

Mirroring the broadly positive cues from the global markets overnight, Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, as worries about the outlook for interest rates eased a bit after dovish comments from some US Fed officials lowered expectations for further interest rate hikes for now. However, concerns about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war weighed on the market. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday.

The Australian stock market is gaining for the fifth straight session on Wednesday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors led by technology stocks. Mining stocks are also gaining amid a spike in metal prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 46.40 points or 0.66 percent to 7,087.40, after touching a high of 7,088.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 47.00 points or 0.65 percent to 7,278.00. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals and BHP Group are adding more than 1 percent each, while Mineral Resources is advancing more than 2 percent and Rio Tinto is gaining almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are mixed. Beach energy is losing almost 1 percent and Origin Energy is edging down 0.2 percent, while Santos is gaining almost 1 percent and Woodside Energy is edging up 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 3 percent, WiseTech Global is up more than 1 percent, Xero is adding almost 2 percent, Appen is edging up 0.5 percent and Zip is surging more than 6 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is edging down 0.4 percent and Evolution Mining is losing almost 1 percent, while Gold Road Resources is gaining almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.5 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.643 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Wednesday, adding to the strong gains in the previous session, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight. The Nikkei 225 moved above the 31,900 level, with gains across most sectors, led by index heavyweights and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 31,917.48, up 170.95 points or 0.54 percent, after touching a high of 31,949.49 earlier. Japanese stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday.

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

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding more than 2 percent, while Screen Holdings is edging down 0.2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging down 0.3 to 0.5 percent each, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic and Canon are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while Sony is gaining almost 1 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is declining almost 1 percent.

Among other major gainers, Lasertec is gaining more than 5 percent and Tokyo Electric Power is adding more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is losing more than 5 percent, NTT Data is declining more than 3 percent and CyberAgent is up almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 148 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea and Hong Kong is up 2.2 and 1.5 percent, respectively, while China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1 and 0.8 percent each. New Zealand and Singapore are down 0.1 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

On the Wall Street, stocks climbed higher and held firm right through the day’s session on Tuesday, after opening on a slightly subdued note, to eventually close with solid gains. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury Note dropped to around 4.65 percent as investors chose to pick up some safe-haven assets amid geopolitical concerns.

The major averages all ended on a firm note. The Dow settled with a gain of 134.65 points or 0.4 percent at 33,739.30. The S&P 500 climbed 22.58 points or 0.52 percent to 4,358.24, and the Nasdaq advanced 78.60 points or 0.58 percent to 13,562.84.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 surged 1.82 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 1.95 percent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 2.01 percent.

Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday as traders assessed the likely impact of potential supply disruptions due to the ongoing war in the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November shed $0.41 or 0.5 percent at $85.97 a barrel.

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