Asian Markets Trading Mixed

Asian Markets Trading Mixed

October 28, 2021

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Thursday, following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders reacted positively to another batch of largely upbeat corporate earnings news and rising crude oil prices. They also remain concerned about the coronavirus infections in the region, which is hindering economic activity. Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

Traders took note of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which said the pace of U.S. economic growth has recently slowed due to supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and uncertainty around the Delta variant of COVID-19.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher in choppy trading on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 above the 7,400 level, following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid another batch of largely upbeat corporate earnings news.

Meanwhile, traders looked at the domestic coronavirus situation, particularly in Victoria where COVID-19 restrictions will start relaxing from midnight despite reporting 2,232 new locally acquired cases and twelve deaths on Wednesday. NSW has reported 372 new local cases of COVID-19 and one death.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 22.80 points or 0.31 percent to 7,436.50, after touching a high of 7,446.70 and a low of 7,403.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 7.20 points or 0.09 percent to 7,734.40. Australian markets ended modestly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals and BHP Group are edging up 0.5 percent each, while Rio Tinto is down almost 1 percent and OZ Minerals is losing 2.5 percent. Mineral Resources is edging up 0.3 percent.

Rio Tinto will spend $7.5 billion to meet its newly set target of halving its direct carbon footprint across its global operations by 2030.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Origin Energy is losing almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down more than 1 percent, while Santos and Oil Search are edging down 0.3 percent each. Beach Energy is gaining almost 1 percent

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

In the tech space, Xero and Afterpay are edging up 0.3 percent each, while WiseTech Global and Zip are losing more than 1 percent each. Appen is gaining more than 3 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher after gold prices climbed overnight. Newcrest Mining is gaining almost 1 percent, Northern Star Resources is adding more than 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is edging up 0.2 percent. Evolution Mining is edging down 0.3 percent and Resolute Mining is flat.

Shares in Aristocrat are up more than 5 percent on resuming trading after news that the poker machine maker raised $900 million to buy London-listed gaming software supplier Playtech for $2.9 billion.

Shares in Healius are gaining more than 6 percent after the pathology tester revealing a spike in quarterly Underlying earnings and revenues, due to a surge in coronavirus test processing and non-virus related medical testing. It is also eyeing PCR testing for international travelers.

Shares of Brainchip are soaring almost 15 percent after the computer chips maker announced a new US patent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.754 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Thursday, giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 below the 29,200 level, ignoring the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, with campaigning season in full swing for the upcoming elections and parties clashing over key economic issues and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,161.71, down 93.84 points or 0.32 percent, after hitting a low of 29,055.02 earlier. Japanese shares ended slightly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is flat. Among automakers, Toyota is losing almost 1 percent and Honda is edging down 0.5 percent.

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

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.2 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are flat.

The major exporters are mostly higher. Sony is edging down 0.3 percent, Panasonic is losing almost 1 percent and Canon is declining more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is flat.

Among the other major losers, Isuzu Motors is losing 2.5 percent and Omron is down more than 2 percent.

Conversely, Pacific Metals is gaining almost 4 percent, while Tosoh, KDDI, Fujifilm, Mazda Motors and Sumitomo Chemical are adding more than 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 114 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea are higher by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each. Singapore is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching record intraday highs during the session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq bucked the uptrend, edging slightly lower.

The Dow climbed 152.93 points or 0.4 percent to 35,609.34 and the S&P 500 rose 16.56 points or 0.4 percent to 4,536.19. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq edged down 7.41 points or 0.1 percent to 15,121.68.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.5 percent, U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both crept up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday after data showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week, while increased demand also supported prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up by $0.98 or 1.2 percent at $83.42 a barrel.

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