Asian Markets Mostly Higher Amid Cautious Trades

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from the European markets overnight, as traders remain cautious ahead of key inflation readings from the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia later in the week, which could help traders access the timing and pace of interest rate cuts this year. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday.

Extending the losses in the previous five sessions, the Australian stock market is modestly lower on Tuesday after opening well in the green, despite the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is staying below the 7,800 level, with weakness in financial stocks partially offset by gains in mining and energy stocks amid firmer commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 15.40 points or 0.20 percent to 7,772.90, after touching a high of 7,801.40 and a low of 7,769.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 16.60 points or 0.21 percent to 8,042.00. Australian stocks closed significantly higher on Monday.

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Among the major miners, Rio Tinto, Mineral Resources and BHP Group are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is flat.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Beach energy is gaining more than 1 percent, while Woodside Energy and Santos are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each. Origin Energy is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block, WiseTech Global and Xero are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while Zip is adding more than 1 percent and Appen is gaining almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Gold Road Resources and Newmont are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Northern Star resources is adding more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is advancing more than 2 percent and Resolute Mining is rising more than 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.2 percent and Westpac is losing almost 1 percent, while ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are flat.

In other news, shares in Playside Studios are soaring more than 15 percent after the online gaming business lifted its guidance for EBITDA (operating income) for financial 2024.

Shares in Peter Warren Automotive are plunging 12 percent after the car dealership group issued a profit warning, saying margins are being squeezed by more competition in the sector as sales slow amid a household cost-of-living squeeze.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.667 on Tuesday.

Giving up some of the gains in the previous session, the Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 38,800 level, despite the broadly positive cues from European markets overnight, with losses index heavyweights and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 38,783.27, down 116.75 points or 0.30 percent, after hitting a low of 38,756.13 earlier. Japanese shares ended notably higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is also edging up 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.4 percent and Toyota is losing almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 1 percent, Tokyo Electron is declining more than 1 percent and Screen Holdings is slipping almost 3 percent.

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

The major exporters are mixed. Panasonic is losing almost 2 percent and Sony is edging down 0.3 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are gaining almost 1 percent each.

Among the other major losers, Sharp is losing almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Furukawa Electric is surging more than 7 percent and Kansai Electric Power is gaining more than 4 percent, while Sumitomo Electric Industries and Toray Industries are adding more than 3 percent each. Teijin, Nikon, Chubu Electric Power, Japan Steel Works and Tokyo Electric Power are advancing almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 156 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1 and 0.3 percent each, while New Zealand and Malaysia are down 0.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

On Wall Street, the markets were closed for Memorial Day on Monday after closing higher on Friday.

The major European markets moved to the upside on the day. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.44% and 0.46%, respectively. The U.K. market was closed due to Bank Holiday.

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