Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Monday in thin trading with a few markets closed, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders reacted to news reports that US Fed officials are likely to debate whether and how to plan for a smaller rate hike in December. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 75 basis points in November. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday.
Amid continuing concerns of a recession, recent comments from Fed officials have generally been hawkish and a few are is favor of slowing down the pace of rate hikes.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly said Friday that the central bank should avoid aggressive tightening as it could put the U.S. economy into an “unforced downturn.” She added that the Fed is nearing a point where it should slow rate hikes.
The Australian stock market is sharply higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 6,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with strong gains across most sectors, led by technology and mining stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 113.20 points or 1.70 percent to 6,790.00, after touching a high of 6,823.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 117.40 points or 1.71 percent to 6,987.30. Australian stocks closed significantly lower on Friday.
Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is gaining almost 4 percent and Rio Tinto is adding almost 3 percent, while BHP Group and Mineral Resources are advancing more than 4 percent each. OZ Minerals is losing more than 1 percent.
Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy is edging up 0.2 percent, Santos is adding almost 1 percent, Woodside Energy is gaining almost 2 percent and Origin Energy is advancing more than 2 percent.
Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 3 percent, Zip is surging almost 5 percent, WiseTech Global is adding more than 1 percent, Xero is advancing more than 4 percent and Appen is up almost 2 percent.
Gold miners are strong, Gold Road Resources is surging almost 7 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding almost 4 percent, Northern Star Resources is advancing more than 5 percent and Evolution Mining is soaring almost 9 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Westpac are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is adding more than 1 percent. ANZ Banking is flat.
In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in October, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from S&P Global revealed on Monday with a manufacturing PMI score of 52.8. That’s down from 53.5 in September, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI fell to a score of 49.0 from 50.6, while the composite also fell into contraction at 49.6 – down from 50.9 in September.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.634 on Monday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 27,100 level, tracking the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with gains across most sectors, led by technology stocks.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,156.95, up 266.37 or 0.99 percent, after touching a high of 27,308.97 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly lower on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 3 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are gaining almost 1 percent each.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining 4.5 percent, while Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are adding almost 4 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining more than 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.4 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding almost 2 percent.
The major exporters are strong, with Panasonic and Sony are adding almost 2 percent each, while Canon is gaining more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.1 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Nidec is surging more than 5 percent and Sumitomo Metal Mining is gaining almost 5 percent, while SMC, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Showa Denko K.K., Recruit Holdings and Nippon Yusen K.K. are adding almost 4 percent each. Shin-Etsu Chemical, Fuji Electric, Japan Steel Works are advancing more than 3 percent each.
Conversely, Takashimaya is losing almost 4 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi and J. Front Retailing are declining almost 3 percent each.
In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in October, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Monday with a manufacturing PMI score of 50.7. That’s down from 50.8 in September, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI improved to 53.0 from 52.2, while the composite also rose to 51.7 – up from 51.0 in September.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 148 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is plummeting 3.9 percent and China is down 0.7 percent, while South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.7 and 1.1 percent each. Malaysia and Singapore are closed for Deepavali and New Zealand is closed for Labor Day.
On Wall Street, stocks saw significant volatility in early trading on Friday but moved sharply higher over the course of the session. The major averages more than offset the pullback seen over the two previous sessions, with the Dow reaching its best closing level in over a month.
The major averages reached new highs for the session late in the trading day. The Dow soared 748.97 points or 2.5 percent to 31,082.56, the Nasdaq surged 244.87 points or 2.3 percent to 10,859.72 and the S&P 500 spiked 86.97 points or 2.4 percent to 3,752.75.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4percent, the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.9 percent.
Crude oil prices climbed higher on Friday amid hopes demand for oil in China will see an increase soon. A likely ban on Russian oil by the European Union and a weak dollar also fueled oil’s uptick. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended higher by $0.54 or 0.6 percent at $85.05 a barrel.
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