Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, amid uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates in the U.S. ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting. However, a recent report about the US Fed signaling a slowdown in the pace of rate hikes is aiding market sentiment. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday.
The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points next week, but traders are hopeful the central bank will indicate plans to slow the pace of rates hikes beginning in December.
The optimism partly stems from a Wall Street Journal report suggesting some Fed officials have expressed greater unease with the aggressive pace of rate hikes.
“U.S. stocks rallied as momentum builds on calls that the Fed will be tapping the tightening brakes after next week’s policy meeting,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
He added, “Fed rate hike expectations will remain volatile, but expectations are growing that a weaker economy will let the Fed pause their tightening after the February policy meeting.”
The Australian stock market significantly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving to above the 6,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, led by gains in technology and financial stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 15.30 points or 0.23 percent to 6,794.70, after touching a high of 6,831.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 10.80 points or 0.16 percent to 6,989.20. Australian stocks closed sharply higher on Monday.
Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are losing almost 2 percent each, while BHP Group and Rio Tinto are down almost 1 percent each. Mineral Resources is edging up 0.1 percent.
Oil stocks are mixed. Beach energy is gaining more than 1 percent and Santos is up almost 1 percent, while Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are edging down 0.3 percent each.
Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is gaining 1.5 percent, WiseTech Global is up almost 1 percent and Xero is adding more than 2 percent, while Zip and Appen are advancing almost 2 percent each.
Gold miners are mostly higher. Northern Star Resources is gaining almost 1 percent, Gold Road Resources is edging up 0.4 percent and Resolute Mining is advancing almost 3 percent, while Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is gaining more than 1 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are adding almost 1 percent each.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.632 on Tuesday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving to nearly the 27,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in technology and financial stocks. Reports about the US Fed slowing down the pace of rate hikes are also aiding market sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,201.37, up 226.47 points or 0.84 percent, after touching a high of 27,243.34 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Monday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.5 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.3 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are gaining more than 1 percent each.
The major exporters are higher, with Sony, Panasonic, Canon and Mitsubishi Electric gaining more than 1 percent each.
Among the other major gainers, Concordia Financial Group and Nidec are gaining almost 4 percent each, while Keyence and Resona Holdings are adding more than 3 percent each.
Conversely, Chugai Pharmaceutical is losing more than 3 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 148 yen-range on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore are higher by between 0.1 and 0.9 percent each, while China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are lower by between 0.6 and 1.4 percent each. Indonesia is relatively flat.
On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated early in the session on Monday but moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day. The major averages added to the strong gains posted in the previous session, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching their best closing levels in a month.
The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Dow surged 417.06 points or 1.3 percent to 31,499.62, the Nasdaq advanced 92.90 points or 0.9 percent to 10,952.61 and the S&P 500 jumped 44.59 points or 1.2 percent to 3,797.34.
The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both jumped by 1.6 percent.
Crude oil prices moved lower on Monday, giving ground following the advance seen last Friday. The pullback reflected lingering concerns about the outlook for global demand, particularly in China. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery fell $0.47 or 0.6 percent to $84.58 a barrel.
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