Asian Markets Mostly Higher – Markets Insider

This Article Was Originally From This Site

(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday, tracking the overnight gains on Wall Street and higher commodity prices. In addition, better-than-expected regional economic data boosted optimism about global economic growth.

Investors also digested the developments in Catalonia after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont stopped short of declaring independence from Spain and called for further talks with Madrid.

The Australian market is rising following the positive lead overnight from Wall Street and higher commodity prices. Data showing that consumer confidence in Australia rose in October to the highest level in a year also boosted sentiment.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 32.10 points or 0.56 percent to 5,770.20, slightly off a high of 5,771.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 26.10 points or 0.45 percent to 5,833.20.

Mining stocks are mostly higher after copper prices rose overnight. BHP Billiton is adding 0.4 percent and Rio Tinto is up 0.5 percent, while Fortescue Metals is declining 0.3 percent.

Gold miners are mixed despite higher gold prices. Evolution Mining is declining 0.4 percent, while Newcrest Mining is adding 0.5 percent.

The big four banks – ANZ Banking, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank – are higher in a range of 0.2 percent to 0.9 percent. Westpac and ANZ Banking’s top executives are scheduled to face questioning from the House of Representatives economic committee later on Wednesday.

Oil stocks are gaining after crude oil prices surged nearly 3 percent overnight. Woodside Petroleum and Santos are rising more than 1 percent each, while Oil Search is advancing almost 1 percent.

Energy Resources of Australia said it recorded a 42 percent increase in its uranium oxide production in the September quarter on the previous quarter. However, the company’s shares are declining almost 1 percent.

Bluescope Steel has reiterated its first-half earnings outlook, saying it expects underlying earnings in the first half of the year to be around 80 percent of earnings in the second half of the fiscal year. Shares of the steelmaker are also losing almost 1 percent.

Independent ATM operator Stargroup said that the announcement by major banks last month that they will abolish transaction fees from their ATMs has had little impact on its own network or projected revenues. Shares of Stargroup are rising 5 percent.

In economic news, the latest survey from Westpac Bank revealed that consumer confidence in Australia spiked in October, jumping 3.6 percent to a score of 101.4. That follows the 2.5 percent increase in September to a score of 97.9 – and it moves above the boom-or-bust line of 100 that separates optimism and pessimism.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7783, down slightly from US$0.7786 on Tuesday.

The Japanese market recovered after a weak start and is modestly higher as data showed that Japan’s core machine orders rose more than expected in August.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 33.93 points or 0.16 percent to 20,857.44, after touching a low of 20,788.12 in early trades.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Panasonic is rising almost 1 percent, Canon is advancing 0.5 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.1 percent, while Sony is declining almost 2 percent.

Among automakers, Toyota is losing 0.6 percent and Honda is edging down 0.1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding 0.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is rising 0.3 percent.

Shares of Kobe Steel are losing almost 16 percent, extending losses from the previous session after the company admitted to falsifying data about the quality of its products.

In the oil space, Inpex is adding 0.3 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration is rising 0.4 percent after crude oil prices surged nearly 3 percent overnight.

Among the best performers, Tokai Carbon is rising almost 8 percent, Fuji Electric is advancing almost 3 percent and Sumitomo Metal Mining is up more than 2 percent.

On the flip side, Takashimaya Co. is lower by more than 4 percent and Tosoh Co. is down more than 3 percent.

In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that core machine orders in Japan jumped a seasonally adjusted 3.4 percent on month in August, coming in at 882.4 billion yen. That beat forecasts for an increase of 1.0 percent following the 8.0 percent spike in July.

Japan will also see preliminary September numbers for machine tool orders today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 112 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also higher, while Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly higher on Tuesday, reflecting a recent upward momentum. However, a lack of major U.S. economic news led traders to be reluctant to make more significant moves.

The Dow climbed 69.61 points or 0.3 percent to 22,830.68, the Nasdaq edged up 7.52 points or 0.1 percent to 6,587.25 and the S&P 500 rose 5.91 points or 0.2 percent to 2,550.64.

The major European markets turned in another mixed performance on Tuesday. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices rose nearly 3 percent Tuesday, hitting its highest level in almost two weeks. WTI crude for November surged $1.34 or 2.7 percent to $50.92 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

This Article Was Originally From *This Site*