Asian Markets Trading Mixed

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of key US employment data later in the week, which is expected to show a slowdown in the pace of job growth in June, could impact the outlook for interest rates. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday.

Traders may also be sticking to the sidelines ahead of remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday as well as the Independence Day holiday on Thursday.

Adding to the losses in the previous session, the Australian stock market is trading slightly lower on Tuesday, despite the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is staying well below the 7,800 level, with weakness is financial stocks as traders cautiously await the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s June monetary policy meeting.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 26.70 points or 0.34 percent to 7,724.00, after hitting a low of 7,723.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 26.70 points or 0.33 percent to 7,965.60. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.2 percent and Mineral Resources is losing almost 1 percent. Rio Tinto is flat.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Woodside Energy is gaining more than 2 percent and Santos is adding almost 1 percent, while Beach energy and Origin Energy are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each.

Among tech stocks, Appen is gaining more than 2 percent, Zip is edging up 0.2 percent and WiseTech Global is adding more than 1 percent, while Afterpay owner Block is declining 1.5 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Gold Road Resources is adding almost 1 percent, Resolute Mining is gaining almost 3 percent, Northern Star resources is edging up 0.4 percent and Evolution Mining is up 1.5 percent, while Newmont is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking Bank and Westpac are edging down 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while National Australia Bank is losing almost 1 percent.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will on Tuesday release the minutes from its June 18 monetary policy meeting. At the meeting, the RBA left its benchmark rate at a 12-year high of 4.35 percent for a fifth straight meeting and underscored that inflation is slowing more slowly than anticipated, leaving the door open for a possible rate hike.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.664 on Tuesday.

Adding to the gains in the previous two sessions, the Japanese stock market is notably higher on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 39,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in index heavyweights, exporters and financial stocks as the Yen hit a fresh 38-year low against the US dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 39,780.58, up 149.52 points or 0.38 percent, after touching a high of 39,929.67 earlier. Japanese shares ended slightly higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining 1.5 percent and Toyota is adding more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.3 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining almost 4 percent, while Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are adding almost 3 percent each.

The major exporters are mostly higher. Panasonic is edging down 0.1 percent, while Sony is gaining more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 2 percent and Canon is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Daiichi Sankyo and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are gaining more than 4 percent, while Dai-ichi Life, T&D Holdings, MS&AD Insurance, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Daiwa Securities are adding more than 3 percent each. Sompo Holdings, Mercari and Hoya are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Sumitomo Pharma and Dentsu Group are losing almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 161 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is up 1.4 percent, while China, Singapore and Taiwan are higher by between 0.3 and 0.6 percent each. New Zealand, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Monday, with technology shares turning in a fine performance. The major averages all started off on a somewhat weak note in lackluster trade, but turned positive with stocks gaining in strength gradually as the session progressed.

The Dow ended higher by 50.66 points or 0.13 percent, at 39,169.52. The S&P 500 advanced 14.61 points or 0.27 percent to 5,475.09, while the Nasdaq climbed 146.70 points or 0.83 percent to 17,879.30.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 percent, and France’s CAC 40 ended up 1.09 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.03 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, on expectations of higher demand, supply concerns and production cuts by OPEC. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended higher by $1.84 or about 2.2 percent at $83.38 a barrel.

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RTT Staff Writer
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