Asian Markets Showing Mixed Trend

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders reacted positively to news that the House of Representatives has passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill over the weekend and support from higher crude oil prices. However, traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves amid some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent upward trend. Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday.

The Australian stock market is marginally higher in choppy trading on Tuesday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,500 level, following the positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as gains in materials were partially offset by declines in most other sectors. The domestic coronavirus situation also continues to dent investor sentiment.

Victoria reported 1,069 new locally acquired cases and ten deaths on Monday, with the active cases totalling 15,607 across Victoria. NSW has reported only 222 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and four deaths.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 8.60 points or 0.12 percent to 7,460.80, after hitting a low of 7,436.20 and a high of 7,468.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 13.50 points or 0.17 percent to 7,781.40. Australian stocks closed marginally lower on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are adding 1.5 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is up almost 1 percent, Mineral Resources is gaining more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is edging up 0.5 percent.

Oil stocks are weak. Origin Energy is edging down 0.5 percent and Beach energy is losing almost 2 percent, while Santos, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are declining almost 1 percent each.

Among the big four banks, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are losing almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is sliding more than 1 percent. National Australia Bank is declining 2.5 percent despite doubling its final dividend after reporting soaring full-year profits.

Among tech stocks, Appen is losing almost 2 percent and WiseTech Global down almost 1 percent, while Afterpay is gaining almost 2 percent and Xero is adding almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Resolute Mining is flat and Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 3 percent, while Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources are adding more than 1 percent each. Newcrest Mining is down almost 2 percent after it agreed to acquire Toronto-listed Pretium Resources in $3.7 billion deal to expand its gold production volumes.

Shares in Chalice Mining are surging more than 18 percent after the miner morning claimed to have found the largest nickel sulphide discovery in recent times and the largest platinum group elements (PGE) deposit in Australian history.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.740 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is slightly higher on Tuesday, recouping some of the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei index above the 29,500 level, following the positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders are upbeat about the stimulus package and spending plan to revive the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,536.17, up 29.12 points or 0.10 percent, after touching a high of 29,750.46 and a low of 29,488.14 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is soaring more than 10 percent after announcing an up to 1 trillion yen buying back of almost 15% of its shares, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is declining 1.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is flat.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.3 percent, while Screen Holdings is edging down 0.4 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are flat, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.3 percent.

The major exporters are mixed. Mitsubishi Electric is losing more than 1 percent, Canon is down almost 1 percent and Sony is edging down 0.2 percent, while Panasonic is edging up 0.4 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Taiyo Yuden and Toho Zinc are gaining almost 5 percent each, while JFE Holdings is adding more than 3 percent. Z Holdings, Yamaha Motor, Taisei and Isuzu Motors are up almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Fujikura and Maruha Nichiro are declining almost 4 percent each, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Toyobo and Shizuoka Bank are losing more than 3 percent each.

In economic news, the value of overall bank lending in Japan was up 0.9 percent on year in October, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday – coming in at 577.857 trillion yen. That follows the 0.6 percent increase in September. Excluding trusts, bank lending rose an annual 0.8 percent to 501.525 trillion yen, accelerating from 0.4 percent in the previous month. Lending from foreign banks dropped 5.3 percent on year to 3.233 trillion yen after sinking 4.3 percent in the previous month.

Further, Japan posted a current account surplus of 1,033.7 billion yen in September, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday. That missed forecasts for a surplus of 1,060.1 billion yen and was down from 1,665.6 billion yen in August. Imports jumped 41.6 percent on year to 7.137 trillion yen, while exports gained an annual 16.1 percent to 6.907 trillion yen for a trade deficit of 229.9 billion yen. The capital account had a deficit of 187.7 billion yen in September and the financial account saw a surplus of 2,760.3 billion yen.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 113 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is gaining 0.9 percent, while New Zealand, and Indonesia are up 0.1 percent each, respectively. China, South Korea and Malaysia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each. Singapore and Hong Kong are relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Monday after an early move to the upside. The major averages pulled back off their best levels but still managed to end the day modestly higher.

The major averages once again finished the session at new record closing highs. The Dow rose 104.27 points or 0.3 percent to 36,432.22, the Nasdaq inched up 10.77 points or 0.1 percent to 15,982.36 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.17 points or 0.1 percent to 4,701.70.

Meanwhile, the major European markets ended the day narrowly mixed. While the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil futures settled notably higher on Monday, extending gains from the previous session, amid rising optimism about outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended higher by $0.66 or 0.8 percent at $81.93 a barrel.

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