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Asian Markets Trade Mixed

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with a few major markets in the region still closed for public holiday. Japanese and South Korean markets are rallying in post-holiday trade. Investors also remain cautious ahead of the release of US consumer price inflation data for January, which could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday.

Recouping some of the losses in the previous two sessions, the Australian stock market is slightly higher in chopping trading on Tuesday after opening in the green, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is staying above the 7,600 level, with gains in mining and financial stocks. Traders are also reacting to some disappointing corporate earnings news.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 7.60 points or 0.10 percent to 7,622.50, after hitting a low of 7,599.00 and a high of 7,632.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 7.30 points or 0.09 percent to 7,867.60. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Monday.

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Among the major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are edging up 0.3 to 0.4 percent each, while Mineral Resources is gaining more than 1 percent. Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.5 percent.

Oil stocks are mixed. Origin Energy is gaining almost 1 percent and Beach energy is adding more than 2 percent, while Woodside Energy is losing more than 1 percent and Santos is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is losing almost 2 percent, Xero is edging down 0.4 percent and Zip is declining almost 3 percent, while Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 3 percent and. Appen is gaining adding 1.5 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Evolution Mining, Resolute Mining and Northern Star resources are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Newmont is adding almost 2 percent and Gold Road Resources is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is adding more than 1 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.5 percent.

In other news, shares in Seek plunged almost 10 percent after the job listing site reported a decline in first-half profit as its customer volumes slipped back to pre-pandemic levels.

Shares in Breville plummeted almost 13 percent despite a 6.7 percent rise in profit amid a subdued consumer backdrop.

Shares in Seven West Media tumbled more than 9 percent after reporting a 53 per cent drop in TV advertising revenue.

Share in Strike Energy plummeted more than 26 percent on news its South Erregulla-3 site in the Perth Basin failed to flow.

Online-only furniture retailer Temple & Webster climbed almost 12 percent after revenue rose 23 percent driven by growth in repeat and new customers.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.652 on Tuesday.

Adding to the gains in the previous two sessions, the Japanese stock market is sharply higher in post-holiday trade on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 adding 900 points to move a tad below the 37,800 level to fresh 34-year highs, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains across most sectors led by index heavyweights, exporters and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 37,798.89, up 901.47 points or 2.44 percent, after touching a high of 37,802.51 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Monday ahead of a holiday on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is surging more than 7 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.2 percent and Toyota is gaining more than 2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 1 percent, Screen Holdings is advancing almost 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is soaring more than 10 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are adding 1.5 percent.

The major exporters are weak. Panasonic is gaining more than 2 percent, Canon is adding almost 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 3 percent and Sony is up more than 3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, MS&AD Insurance Group is skyrocketing almost 11 percent, while Tokio Marine and Dai Nippon Printing are soaring almost 10 percent each. IHI and Recruit Holdings are surging more than 8 percent each, while Dowa Holdings is gaining almost 8 percent. Sompo Holdings is gaining more than 7 percent, Fujikura is adding almost 7 percent, Subaru is advancing almost 6 percent and T&D Holdings is up almost 5 percent, while Sharp, Yamaha and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are rising almost 4 percent each.

Conversely, JGC Holdings is plummeting almost 19 percent, Nippon Paper Industries is plunging almost 14 percent, Mazda Motor is sliding more than 8 percent, Otsuka Holdings is slipping almost 7 percent, DeNA is losing more than 6 percent and Sumitomo Realty & Development is declining more than 4 percent, while Olympus and Kobe Steel are down almost 4 percent each. Mitsubishi Materials is slipping more than 3 percent, while Oji Holdings and Sumco are falling almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 149 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is up 1.2 percent, while Singapore and Malaysia are up 0.2 and 0.5 percent, respectively. New Zealand and Indonesia are down 0.5 and 0.8 percent, respectively. Markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan remain closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session, with the major averages bouncing back and forth across the unchanged before eventually closing narrowly mixed. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 had been poised to set new record closing highs but pulled back into negative territory in afternoon trading.

While the Nasdaq fell 48.12 points or 0.3 percent to 15,942.55 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.77 points or 0.1 percent to 5,021.84, the Dow rose 125.69 points or 0.3 percent to a record closing high of 38,797.38.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index closed just above the unchanged line.

Crude oil futures settled roughly flat on Monday as demand concerns outweighed potential supply disruptions. The dollar’s recovery from lower levels also weighed on prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March settled at $76.92 a barrel, up $0.08 from the previous close.

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