Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Monday, following the positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, as the concerns about inflation raised by the Labor Department’s consumer price report last week seem to have been short-lived. Traders also remain concerned about the potential resurgence of coronavirus cases in the region and other countries. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Friday.
The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 just below the 7,500 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with gains in mining and technology stocks.
Meanwhile, the domestic coronavirus situation is still grim, particularly in Victoria, even afer the lockdowns and restrictions have been lifted. Victoria recorded 860 new locally acquired cases and five deaths on Sunday, with the total active cases of COVID-19 across Victoria standing at 17,518. NSW reported only 165 new locally acquired cases and one death.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 18.80 points or 0.25 percent to 7,461.80, after touching a high of 7,479.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 26.30 points or 0.34 percent to 7,792.10. Australian stocks closed notably higher on Friday.
Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is edging up 0.5 percent, Mineral Resources is gaining almost 4 percent, Fortescue Metals is adding almost 3 percent and OZ Minerals is up more 1 percent. BHP Group is edging down 0.4 percent.
Oil stocks are mostly higher, with Woodside Petroleum gaining almost 2 percent, while Origin Energy and Beach energy are edging up 0.3 percent each. Oil Search edging down 0.2 percent and Santos is flat.
Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is gaining almost 2 percent, while Appen and Xero are rising 2.5 percent. Afterpay is losing almost 1 percent.
Gold miners are higher. Evolution Mining is adding almost 2 percent, Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 2 percent, Newcrest Mining is up almost 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is rising almost 3 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are edging down 0.3 percent each, while Westpac is gaining almost 1 percent and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.2 percent.
Shares in Mesoblast are surging more than 9 percent after the biotech firm the phase 3 trial of one of its cellular medicines found a reduction in heart attacks and strokes.
Shares in Incitec Pivot are gaining more than 5 percent after the fertiliser maker posted an over 20 percent increase in annual profit on higher commodity prices and also declared a dividend.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.734 on Monday.
The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 29,700 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, on expectations of stronger stimulus package after data showed that Japan’s economy contracted more than expected in the third quarter.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,754.61, up 144.64 points or 0.49 percent, after touching a high of 29,861.88 earlier. Japanese shares ended significantly higher on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is adding 1.5 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.2 percent, Screen Holdings is adding almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is up more than 1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 1 percent, while Mizuho Financial is losing almost 1 percent.
The major exporters are mostly higher, with Panasonic edging up 0.3 percent, Sony gaining almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 1 percent, while Canon is edging down 0.2 percent.
Among the other major gainers, M3 and Yokohama Rubber is gaining almost 4 percent each, while Mazda Motor is adding more than 3 percent. Nexon, JTEKT and Taiyo Yuden are up almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, Ebara is losing more than 6 percent, Nippon Express is declining more than 5 percent and Dowa Holdings is down almost 4 percent, while JFE Holdings, Kobe Steel, Dai-ichi Life Holdings and Dai Nippon Printing are slipping more than 3 percent each. Kobe Steel, Dentsu Group, Mitsui E&S Holdings and J. Front Retailing is sliding almost 3 percent each.
In economic news, Japan’s gross domestic product contracted an annualized 3.0 percent on year in the third quarter of 2021, the Cabinet Office said in Monday’s preliminary report. That was well shy of expectations for a drop of 0.8 percent on year following the downwardly revised 1.5 percent increase in the three months prior (originally 1.9 percent). On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, GDP sank 0.8 percent – again missing forecasts for a fall of 0.2 percent following the downwardly revised 0.4 percent gain in the second quarter (originally 0.5 percent). Capital expenditure tumbled 3.8 percent on quarter versus forecasts for a decline of 0.6 percent following the upwardly revised 2.2 percent gain in the previous three months (originally 1.4 percent). Private consumption shed 1.1 percent on quarter versus expectations for a decline of 0.5 percent after climbing 0.9 percent in Q2.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 113 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each. South Korea is down 1.1 percent, while New Zealand Singapore and Taiwan are higher by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent.
On Wall Street, stocks all moved to the upside during trading on Friday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 extended the rebound seen on Thursday, while the Dow moved higher for the first time in four sessions.
The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Dow rose 179.08 points or 0.5 percent to 36,100.31, the Nasdaq jumped 156.68 points or 1 percent to 15,860.96 and the S&P 500 climbed 33.58 points or 0.7 percent to 4,682.85.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.5 percent.
Crude oil futures tumbled sharply lower on Friday, weighed down by a firm dollar and a downward revision in global oil demand forecast by OPEC. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down by $0.80 or 1 percent at $80.79 a barrel.
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