Asian Markets Mostly Higher


Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Thursday, despite the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with the gains led by energy and technology stocks, even as central banks around the world appear poised to continue raising interest in the months ahead, potentially tipping the global economy into a recession as they combat elevated inflation. Asian Markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday.

The Australian stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Thursday, giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling down to nearly the 6,800 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, as weakness in technology and financial stocks were partially offset by gains in energy stocks amid higher crude oil prices. The rebound in bond yields also added pressure to stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 2.90 points or 0.04 percent to 6,812.80, after hitting a low of 6,787.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 3.30 points or 0.05 percent to 7,027.60. Australian stocks ended sharply higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are edging up 0.3 to 0.5 percent each, while OZ Minerals is edging down 0.2 percent and Mineral Resources is gaining more than 1 percent. Fortescue Metals is losing almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos is gaining almost 2 percent, Beach energy is adding almost 1 percent, Woodside Energy is advancing more than 3 percent and Origin Energy is up more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is adding more than 1 percent and Xero is edging up 0.2 percent, while Zip is slipping more than 4 percent and WiseTech Global is edging down 0.4 percent. Appen is plummeting almost 17 percent after the AI firm downgraded its profit outlook for the full-year, projecting an 84 percent drop.

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

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.5 percent, Evolution Mining is gaining almost 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is advancing more than 1 percent, while Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.3 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.

In economic news, Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade deficit of A$8.324 billion in August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was shy of expectations for a surplus of A$10.1 billion and was down from the upwardly revised A$8.967 billion surplus in July (originally A$8.733 billion).

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.653 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving to nearly the 27,400 level, despite the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with energy and technology stocks leading the charge.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,370.37, up 249.84 points or 0.92 percent, after touching a high of 27,391.69 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining 2.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is flat.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining almost 2 percent, Advantest is advancing 2.5 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding more than 2 percent.

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

Among the major exporters, Canon is gaining almost 1 percent, Sony is adding more that 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 1 percent and Panasonic is up almost 2 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Rakuten is surging more than 5 percent, while Eisai is gaining more than 4 percent, Credit Saison is adding more than 3 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is adding almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Aeon is losing almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 144 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is up 1.3 percent, while Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.4 percent each. New Zealand and Hong Kong are up 0.5 and 0.4 percent, respectively. China remains closed for the Golden Week holiday until Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks staged a significant recovery attempt after pulling back sharply in early trading on Wednesday but still ended the day modestly lower. The major averages gave back ground after moving sharply higher over the two previous sessions.

The major averages pulled back going into the close, finishing the session in negative territory. The Dow edged down 42.45 points or 0.1 percent to 30,273.87, the Nasdaq fell 27.77 points or 0.3 percent to 11,148.64 and the S&P 500 dipped 7.65 points or 0.2 percent to 3,783.28.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slumped 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday after OPEC agreed to impose output cuts, aiming to spur a recovery in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November climbed $1.24 or 1.4 percent at $87.76 a barrel.

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