Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trades


Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, on easing concerns about the outlook for interest rates after reports suggested a shift in the US Fed’s stance on rates. Traders also remain cautious while they await a slew of key economic data from the U.S., Europe and China later in the week, which could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates. Asian markets closed mixed on Monday.

Fed insider Nick Timiraos said the central bank is likely to pause its recent series of rate hikes next week then take a “harder look at whether more are needed.”

The CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently indicating a 93.0 chance the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged next week, but indicating a 42.5 percent chance of another quarter point rate hike in November.

Meanwhile, investors await Chinese data on industrial output and retail sales, and data on U.S. consumer and producer inflation as well as retail sales, industrial production and consumer sentiment.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in mining stocks almost offset by losses in energy, financial and technology stocks.

Domestic data released showed Australian business confidence improving to a seven-month high in August, while consumer sentiment declined further.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 2.90 points or 0.04 percent to 7,195.20, after hitting a low of 7,155.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 1.70 points or 0.02 percent to 7,389.50. Australian stocks closed notably higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is gaining almost 1 percent, Rio Tinto is adding almost 2 percent, Fortescue Metals is up more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is edging up 0.4 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is losing 1.5 percent, Woodside Energy is slipping almost 2 percent, Beach energy is down more than 2 percent and Origin Energy is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block and Xero are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while WiseTech Global is losing almost 1 percent, Appen is down more than 1 percent and Zip is declining more than 5 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Northern Star resources is gaining more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is edging up 0.4 percent and Resolute Mining is adding 1.5 percent. Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are flat.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank are losing almost 1 percent each, while Westpac is edging down 0.5 percent.

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

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Tuesday, recouping some of the losses in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 32,600 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in index heavyweights partially offset by losses in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,665.71, up 197.95 points or 0.61 percent, after touching a high of 32,749.35 earlier. Japanese shares ended notably lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining 2.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are gaining more than 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 3 percent, Screen Holdings is declining more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is down almost 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging down 0.2 to 0.5 percent each.

The major exporters are mixed. Canon and Sony are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Panasonic is gaining almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Rakuten Group is gaining more than 4 percent and Sumitomo Pharma is adding almost 4 percent, while Alps Alpine, Mitsubishi Chemical Group and Mazda Motor are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, IHI is plummeting almost 14 percent, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is plunging more than 7 percent and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is losing more than 3 percent, while Renesas Electronics and JFE Holdings are declining almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 146 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1and 0.4 percent each, while China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1and 0.7 percent each

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Monday following the notable pullback seen last week. The major averages all moved to the upside on the day, adding to the modest gains posted last Friday.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a standout gain. The Nasdaq jumped 156.37 points or 1.1 percent to 13,917.89, the S&P 500 climbed 29.97 points or 0.7 percent to 4,487.46 and the Dow rose 87.13 points or 0.3 percent to 34,663.72.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0. percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices fell on Monday, retreating from last week’s 10-month highs on concerns about the outlook for energy demand from China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended lower by $0.22 or 0.3 percent at $87.29 a barrel.

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