Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Tuesday, following positive cues overnight from Wall Street. Investors continued to buy cyclical stocks as prospects of a stimulus-driven global economic recovery gets brighter. However, rising interest rates continue to be a concern for traders after a jump in bond yields. Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday.

The Australian stock market is higher on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 breaking above the 6,800 level, after the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Monetary Policy Board said the country’s economic recovery is stronger than expected.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 84.00 points or 1.24 percent to 6,857.00, after rising to a high of 6,858.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 88.40 points or 1.26 percent to 7,107.50. Australian stocks closed marginally higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is losing almost 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.3 percent, while BHP Group and Mineral Resources are declining more than 1 percent each. OZ Minerals is up almost 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Oil Search is edging down 0.2 percent, Santos is losing almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is losing 0.4 percent, while Origin Energy is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and Westpac are edging up 0.1 percent, while National Australia Bank is edging down 0.2 percent and Commonwealth Bank is adding 0.6 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay is higher by almost 1 percent and Appen is gaining more than 2 percent, while WiseTech Global is down almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher as gold prices rose on Monday. Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.5 percent and Evolution Mining is gaining almost 3 percent, while Northern Star Resources is declining more than 1 percent.

Facebook has struck content deals with News Corp. and Nine Entertainment, two of the largest Australian media companies, following the recent passing of the new Media Bargaining Code. News Corp. and Nine Entertainment are up more than 1 percent.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes from its monetary policy meeting on March 2. At the meeting, the RBA voted to leave its cash rate and asset purchase program unchanged and indicated that it will not raise the rate until inflation returns to the target range. The policy board held its cash rate at a record low of 0.10 percent, while it also maintained the target yield on the 3-year Australian government bond at around 0.1 percent.

Further, the house price index in Australia was up 3.0 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. That beat forecasts for an increase of 2.0 percent following the 0.8 percent increase in the previous three months. On a yearly basis, the house price index gained 3.6 percent, slowing from 4.5 percent in the three months prior.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.775 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Tuesday, with the benchmark Nikkei index breaching the 30,000 mark earlier, as investors continued to buy cyclical stocks on prospects of a stimulus-driven global economic recovery getting brighter. The cues from Wall Street overnight was also positive

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,956.82, up 189.85 points or 0.64 percent, after touching a high of 30,026.40 earlier. Japanese shares closed slightly higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.4 percent, while Toyota is losing almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding almost 2 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is losing almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down more than 1 percent.

The major exporters mostly mixed, with Canon and Mitsubishi Electric edging up 0.2 percent each, while Panasonic and Sony are gaining almost 2 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Ebara is rising almost 7 percent and Cyber Agent is adding almost 4 percent, while Nippon Yusen, Taiyo Yuden, Hitachi Zosen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are gaining more than 3 percent each. Sumco, Marubeni and Mitsui OSK Lines are adding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Japan Steel works and Shionogi & Co, are losing more than 3 percent each, while Rakuten, Japan Post Holdings and Shizuoka Bank are down more than 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 109 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China and Malaysia are higher by 0.1 to 0.6 percent, while Singapore is edging down.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a lackluster performance for much of the trading session on Monday but managed to end the day mostly higher. With the upward move on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The major averages showed a strong move to the upside going into the close, ending the session near their best levels of the day. The Dow rose 174.82 points or 0.5 percent to 32,953.46, the Nasdaq jumped 139.84 points or 1.1 percent to 13,459.71 and the S&P 500 climbed 25.60 points or 0.7 percent to 3,968.94.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both dipped by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Monday with traders weighing energy demand prospects in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases in Europe. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April slid $0.22 or 0.3 percent at $65.39 a barrel.

Source: Read Full Article