(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders indulged in bargain hunting after the recent sharp sell-off. They also remain cautious amid lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week, as well as concerns about global economic growth amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and related shutdowns in China. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday.
Tumbling commodity prices also weighed on energy and materials shares. Traders may also have been reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of earnings news from a number of big-name companies.
The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Tuesday, extending the sharp losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling 2 percent to stay just above the 7,300 level, despite the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, fueled largely by weakness in materials and energy stocks amid tumbling commodity prices.
The coronavirus outbreak and related shutdowns in China as well as rising prospects of sharper and faster interest rate hikes also weighed on market sentiment.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 134.50 points or 1.80 percent to 7,338.80, after hitting a low of 7,290.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 143.90 points or 1.85 percent to 7,624.30. Australian stocks closed sharply lower on Friday and were closed for a holiday on Monday.
Among the major miners, OZ Minerals is losing 3.5 percent, Mineral Resources is plunging more than 8 percent, Rio Tinto is sliding more than 4 percent, Fortescue Metals is slipping 6.5 percent and BHP Group is down 5.5 percent.
Oil stocks are lower, with Beach energy losing 4.5 percent, Origin Energy declining 2.5 percent and Santos sliding almost 5 percent. Woodside Petroleum is slipping almost 6 percent after reporting a 17 percent drop in sales and 1.4 percent decline in production in the March quarter.
Among tech stocks, Appen is edging up 0.2 percent and Block is adding almost 2 percent, while WiseTech Global is losing more than 2 percent and Xero is declining more than 1 percent.
Gold miners are lower. Evolution Mining is losing more than 2 percent, Northern Star Resources is declining 4.5 percent, Gold Road Resources is slipping more than 4 percent, Newcrest Mining is down more than 2 percent and Resolute Mining is sliding almost 4 percent.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are losing almost 2 percent each, while National Australia Bank is declining more than 2 percent and ANZ Banking is down more than 1 percent.
In other news, shares in EML Payments are plummeting 35 percent after the payments provider cut its guidance amid challenges in its European business.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.722 on Tuesday.
The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday, recovering some of the sharp losses in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 just below the 26,700 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders picked up stocks at a bargain the recent sell-off and remained cautious after amid a weaker yen and await the Bank of Japan’s upcoming monetary policy meeting.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,726.65, up 135.87 points or 0.51 percent, after touching a high of 26,778.43 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Monday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 4 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging down 0.5 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 2 percent, Screen Holdings is adding almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron are up more than 1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.4 percent, while Mizuho Financial is flat.
The major exporters are mixed, with Sony edging up 0.2 percent, Panasonic gaining almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric edging up 0.5 percent, while Canon is losing almost 1 percent. Among the other major gainers, Kajima is gaining more than 3 percent, while Kikkoman, Z Holdings, Takara Holdings and Fujitsu are adding almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, Sumitomo Metal Mining is plunging more than 8 percent, Chugai Pharmaceutical is sliding 6.5 percent, Dowa Holdings is slipping almost 6 percent, Inpex is losing almost 5 percent, Toho Zinc is down more than 4 percent, Mitsui Mining & Smelting is declining almost 4 percent and Pacific Metals is lower by more than 3 percent.
In economic news, the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.6 percent in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday. That was shy of expectations for 2.7 percent, which would have been unchanged from the February reading. The jobs-to-applicant ratio was 1.22, matching forecasts and up from 1.21 in the previous month. The participation rate was 62.1 percent, topping forecasts for 62.0 percent and up from 61.8 percent a month earlier.
In the currency market, the US dollar is trading in the higher 127 yen-range on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is gaining 1.2 percent, while China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each. New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a substantial turnaround over the course of the trading day on Monday after coming under pressure early in the session. The major averages bounced well off their early lows and ended the day significantly higher.
The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session near their best levels of the day. The Dow climbed 238.06 points or 0.7 percent to 34,04946, the Nasdaq jumped 165.60 points or 1.3 percent to 13,004.85 and the S&P 500 rose 24.34 points or 0.6 percent to 4,296.12.
Meanwhile, the major European markets showed significant moves to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slumped 1.5 percent, the UK’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index plunged by 1.9 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices fell sharply on Monday as a spike in Covid cases in China raised concerns about energy demand. A strong US dollar amid rising prospects of a series of sharp interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve also weighed on crude oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down by $3.53 or 3.5 percent at $98.54 a barrel.
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