Asian Markets Track Wall Street Higher

(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders indulged in picking up stocks at a bargain after stocks in the region mostly fell for an eighth straight session. China’s pledge of more steps to shore up its economy is also aiding market sentiment. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday.

The mood is quite cautious as traders braced for a hawkish message from the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the annual Jackson Hole economic symposium on Friday, which is expected provide clues about the central bank’s monetary policy at the upcoming meeting.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 breaking above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains across most sectors, materials, energy and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 53.50 points or 0.76 percent to 7,051.60, after touching a high of 7,056.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 54.90 points or 0.76 percent to 7,297.20. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, Mineral Resources is gaining more than 2 percent, BHP Group is adding almost 1 percent and OZ Minerals is up more than 1 percent, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos is gaining more than 2 percent, Beach energy is adding more than 3 percent, Origin Energy is up almost 2 percent and Woodside Energy is advancing almost 3 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining almost 2 percent, Xero is adding almost 1 percent, Appen is surging more than 6 percent and Zip is advancing more than 5 percent, while WiseTech Global is losing more than 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are gaining almost 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Resolute Mining and Gold Road Resources are adding almost 2 percent each, while Newcrest Mining is advancing almost 3 percent, Northern Star Resources is up more than 2 percent, Resolute Mining is down almost 2 percent and Evolution Mining is gaining almost 4 percent.

In other news, shares in Qantas are surging more than 7 percent after the airline reported a statutory loss for the full-year that halved from last year and a 54 percent jump in profit. It also announced a share buyback of $400 million.

Shares in Pendal Group are soaring more than 9 percent after the asset manager agreed to a $2.5 billion merger with wealth manager Perpetual Ltd.

Shares in IDP Education are also soaring almost 10 percent after it posted robust earnings and a 50 percent surge in revenues for the full-year 2022.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.694 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, snapping the five-session losing streak, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,400 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders indulged in picking up stocks at a bargain after the recent weakness in the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,471.61, up 158.14 points or 0.56 percent, after touching a high of 28,486.01 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.4 percent, while Toyota is edging up 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining more than 1 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding almost 1 percent and Advantest is flat.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging up 0.4 percent each, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent, while Sony is edging down 0.3 percent. Panasonic is flat.

Among the other major gainers, Japan Steel Works and Unitika are surging almost 6 percent each, while Daiichi Sankyo is gaining almost 5 percent. Fujikura is adding more than 3 percent, while NEXON and IHI are up almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 136 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.2 and 1.1 percent each, while Indonesia is bucking the trend and is down 0.3 percent. China is relatively flat. Trading in Hong Kong is delayed due to a typhoon warning.

On Wall Street, stocks saw a choppy ride on Wednesday but the Dow and the S&P 500 still managed to snap a three-day losing streak and close on a positive note. The mood was cautious as investors looked ahead to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the central bank’s economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday, for clues about the bank’s outlook for the economy and interest rates.

Among rhe major averages, the Dow ended with a gain of 59.64 points or 0.18 percent at 32,969.23. The S&P 500 settled at 4,140.77, gaining 12.04 points or 0.29 percent, while the Nasdaq advanced 50.23 points or 0.41 percent to 12,431.53.

Meanwhile, the major European markets were mixed on the day. While the Germany’s DAX advanced 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.39 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 drifted down 0.22 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, supported by data showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week, as well as news that OPEC may cut production to support prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September climbed $1.15 or 1.2 percent at $94.89 a barrel.

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