Asian Markets Trading Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as bond yields dropped and most Asian currencies strengthened against the US dollar. Traders also look ahead to a report on US consumer price inflation, which could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates. Asian Markets closed mixed on Tuesday.

Economists expect a modest slowdown in the annual rate of consumer price growth, which could add to optimism about a slowdown in the pace of interest rate hikes.

The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, led by strong gains in mining stocks amid the spike in metal prices. Energy stocks are also higher despite lower crude oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 46.40 points or 0.67 percent to 7,005.30, after touching a high of 7,012.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 42.00 points or 0.59 percent to 7,192.10. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, OZ Minerals, Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto are gaining more than 2 percent each, while BHP Group is advancing almost 2 percent and Mineral Resources is surging more than 4 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy is gaining more than 3 percent and Santos is up more than 1 percent, while Woodside Energy and Origin Energy are adding almost 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is losing almost 1 percent and WiseTech Global is slipping more than 2 percent, while Appen and Xero are declining more than 1 percent each. Zip is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is losing more than 2 percent, while ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each. Westpac is flat.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are surging more than 6 percent each, while Evolution Mining is advancing almost 7 percent, Gold Road Resources is adding almost 9 percent and Resolute Mining is soaring more than 9 percent.

In economic news, the total number of building permits issued in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 5.8 percent on month in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, coming in at 16,455. On a yearly basis, approvals were down 13.0 percent after slipping 9.4 percent in August. The seasonaally adjusted estimate for the value of total building approved fell 6.9 percent in September, following a 19.5 percent increase in August.

In other news, shares in Whitehaven Coal are surging 8 percent after it slashed output guidance due to New South Wales floods.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.651 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 falling just below the 27,800 level, despite the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted to disappointing quarterly results from some major companies.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,827.16, down 44.95 points or 0.16 percent, after hitting a low of 27,783.70 and a high of 27,926.52 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.2 percent, while Toyota is edging down 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is gaining more than 1 percent, Advantest is advancing more than 2 percent and Screen Holdings is adding almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.1 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Sony is losing almost 1 percent, Canon is edging down 0.2 percent and Panasonic is declining more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is gaining almost 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, Furukawa Electric is plunging almost 9 percent, while Sapporo Holdings and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is sliding almost 5 percent each. Suzuki Motor and Taiyo Yuden are losing more than 4 percent each, while M3 is declining almost 4 percent, while Sumco and Yamato Holdings are down more than 3 percent each. Rakuten, Murata Manufacturing and Toho Zinc are slipping almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, GS Yuasa is soaring almost 8 percent and Nintendo is surging more than 6 percent, NEXON is gaining almost 5 percent and Daikin Industries is adding more than 4 percent, while Hitachi Zosen and Mitsubishi Motors are advancing almost 4 percent each. Kyowa Kirin, Denka, DeNA and Inpex are adding more than 3 percent each, while Mitsui Fudosan is up almost 3 percent.

In economic news, overall bank lending in Japan was up 2.7 percent on year in October, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday, coming in at 593.084 trillion yen. That follows the 2.3 percent increase in September. Excluding trusts, lending rose an annual 3.0 percent to 516.328 trillion yen, while lending from trusts rose 0.6 percent to 76.755 trillion yen.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 145 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan and South Korea is up 1.5 and 1.0 percent respectively, while New Zealand, Singapore, China and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each. Hong Kong and Malaysia is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move to the upside in morning trading on Tuesday before pulling back sharply in the early afternoon. The major averages once again benefited from late-day strength, however, closing firmly in positive territory.

The Dow jumped 333.83 points or 1.0 percent to 33,160.83, ending the session at its best closing level in well over two months. The Nasdaq also climbed 51.68 points or 0.5 percent to 10,616.20, while the S&P 500 advanced 21.31 points or 0.6 percent to 3,828.11.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Tuesday as reports showing a surge in COVID-19 cases in China raised concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended lower by $2.88 or 3.1 percent at $88.91 a barrel.

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