Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Thursday following a tech-led rebound overnight on Wall Street and higher commodity prices.

Investors now look ahead to the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision due later in the day. The ECB is unlikely to announce any big changes to its policy, but might well indicate that it is prepared to loosen policy if required.

The Australian market is advancing following the tech-led rebound overnight on Wall Street and as resources stocks were boosted by higher commodity prices.

News that Victoria’s daily coronavirus infection figures has dropped after rising over the previous two days also boosted sentiment. Stocks are rising across the board.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 56.20 points or 0.96 percent to 5,934.80, after touching a high of 5,955.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 57.50 points or 0.95 percent to 6,116.40. Australian shares closed at a more than two-month low on Wednesday after two days of gains.

Tech stocks rebounded, following their U.S. peers higher. Afterpay is gaining more than 4 percent, Appen is rising almost 3 percent and WiseTech Global is advancing more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Santos, Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are all rising more than 2 percent each after crude oil prices rebounded strongly overnight.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is rising almost 2 percent, BHP Group is advancing 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are also higher after safe-haven gold prices extended gains overnight. Evolution Mining is rising more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding more than 1 percent.

The big four banks are modestly higher. Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking, Westpac and National Australia Bank are up in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent.

Myer Holdings reported a net loss for the full year, while sales dropped more than 15 percent and said it will not pay a final dividend to shareholders. The retailer’s shares are falling almost 14 percent.

In economic news, Australia will see September’s inflation forecast from the Melbourne Institute today.

The Japanese market is rising and the safe-haven yen weakened following the tech-led rebound overnight on Wall Street. Upbeat Japanese core machine orders data for July also boosted sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 171.19 points or 0.74 percent to 23,203.73, after touching a high of 23,242.78 earlier. Japanese stocks closed lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is adding 0.4 percent and Fast Retailing is edging up 0.2 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Sony is rising almost 3 percent, Panasonic is higher by almost 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 1 percent, while Canon is down 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is adding 0.6 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.2 percent despite the rebound in U.S. tech stocks overnight. In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.6 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by 0.5 percent.

Among automakers, Toyota is higher by almost 1 percent and Honda is up 0.5 percent. In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is rising almost 2 percent and Inpex is advancing almost 1 percent.

NTT Docomo has stopped allowing customers to newly link its e-money service with their accounts at regional banks and Japan Post Bank after cases of improper money withdrawals emerged. Shares of NTT Docomo are down 0.3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Rakuten is gaining more than 8 percent, Mitsui OSK Lines is rising almost 8 percent and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is higher by more than 6 percent. Nippon Yusen is advancing more than 5 percent.

In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that the total value of core machine orders in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 6.3 percent on month in July, standing at 751.3 billion yen. That beat expectations for an increase of 1.9 percent following the 7.6 percent decline in June.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand and South Korea are advancing almost 1 percent each, while Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also higher.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is losing almost 4 percent as social distancing measures were reintroduced in Jakarta following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Singapore and Malaysia are also lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Wednesday following the sell-off seen over the three previous sessions, as some traders looked to pick up stocks at relatively reduced levels. Technology stocks showed a substantial rebound on the day after leading the markets lower over the past few sessions. Semiconductor and gold stocks also rose notably.

The Dow jumped 439.58 points or 1.6 percent to 27,940.47, the Nasdaq soared 293.87 points or 2.7 percent to 11,141.56 and the S&P 500 surged up 67.12 points or 2 percent to 3,398.96.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on Wednesday. While the German DAX Index surged up by 2.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both jumped by 1.4 percent.

Crude oil prices rebounded strongly on Wednesday after tumbling a session earlier, amid hopes the U.S. inventory data for last week will show a drop in stockpiles. WTI crude for October ended up $1.29 or about 3.5 percent at $38.05 a barrel.

Source: Read Full Article