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Asian Markets A Sea Of Green

Asian stock markets are a sea of green on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted positively to a closely watched report on US consumer price inflation that showed a smaller-than-expected increase in the month of April to reinforce expectations the US Fed will begin cutting interest rates in September. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

The Australian market is sharply higher on Thursday, adding to the gains in the previous session, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is moving well above the 7,800 level, with gains across most sectors led by gold miners and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 128.80 points or 1.66 percent to 7,882.50, after touching a high of 7,891.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 127.60 points or 1.59 percent to 8,148.50. Australian stocks ended notably higher on Wednesday.

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Among major miners, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are gaining almost 1 percent each, while BHP Group is adding more than 1 percent. Mineral Resources is edging down 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Woodside Energy and Santos are edging down 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Beach energy is declining almost 1 percent. Origin Energy is edging up 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Xero is advancing more than 4 percent and Appen is adding more than 2 percent, while WiseTech Global and Zip are gaining almost 2 percent each. Afterpay owner Block is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are all gaining more than 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is gaining almost 3 percent, Resolute Mining is surging almost 7 percent, Gold Road Resources is adding more than 4 percent, Newmont is up more than 1 percent and Northern Star Resources is advancing more than 3 percent.

In other news, shares in Aristocrat Leisure are soaring 9 percent after the Autobarn-owner posted better than expected earnings and upped its dividend 20 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.669 on Thursday.

Extending the gains in the previous four sessions, the Japanese market is significantly higher on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight. The Nikkei 225 is moving up to be a tad below the 38,900 level, with gains in index heavyweights and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 38,669.57, up 283.84 points or 0.74 percent, after touching a high of 38,897.53 earlier. Japanese shares ended slightly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.4 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is losing more than 2 percent and Honda is declining almost 3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding almost 4 percent and Screen Holdings is advancing more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, while Mizuho Financial is losing more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining more than 5 percent.

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

Among other major gainers, Recruit Holdings is surging more than 6 percent, Credit Saison is gaining almost 6 percent and Ebara is adding more than 4 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi, Keyence and CyberAgent are up more than 3 percent each. Terumo, Disco and Fujikura are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Nisshin Seifun and Nippon Paper Industries are plunging more than 9 percent each, while Sumitomo Chemical is sliding almost 8 percent, Sumitomo Pharma is slipping more than 6 percent and T&D Holdings is losing almost 6 percent. Konica Minolta and Mercari are declining more than 4 percent each, while Mazda Motor, Nissan Motor, Mitsubishi Motors, NTN and NEXON are down almost 4 percent each. Isuzu Motors and NSK are losing more than 3 percent each.

In economic news, Japan’s gross domestic product contracted a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on quarter in the first quarter of 2024, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday. That missed expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent after adding 0.2 percent in the previous three months. On a yearly basis, GDP slumped 2.0 percent – again missing estimates for a decline of 1.5 percent after rising 0.4 percent in the three months prior.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 153 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are all higher by between 0.3 and 1.2 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Wednesday with traders reacting positively to closely watched consumer price inflation data. The major averages added to Tuesday’s gains, setting new record closing highs.

The major averages saw further upside late in the session, reaching new highs for the day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq surged 231.21 points or 1.4 percent to 16,742.39, the S&P 500 shot up 61.47 points or 1.2 percent to 5,308.15 and the Dow jumped 349.89 points or 0.9 percent to 39,908.00.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged up 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, buoyed by soft inflation data and a report showing a bigger than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up by $0.61 or 0.78 percent at $78.63 a barrel.

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