Asian markets are mostly trading higher
(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Wednesday following broadly positive signals from Wall Street overnight, amid easing geopolitical concerns following the news that Russia was withdrawing some troops from the Ukrainian border. Traders also picked up equities at a bargain price as concerns over a destabilizing conflict between Russia and Ukraine weighed on stocks in recent sessions. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said units from Russia’s southern and western military districts, which border Ukraine, have already started returning to their bases after completing their combat training.
The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Wednesday, recouping losses from the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index remaining above the 7,200 level, following broadly positive signals from Wall Street overnight, in a backdrop of easing geopolitical concerns following news that Russia is pulling troops back from the Ukrainian border.
Concerns about national COVID-19 cases have also eased despite a recent spike in cases in some regions. New South Wales reported 10,463 new cases and 27 deaths on Tuesday and Victoria also reported 8,149 new cases and 18 deaths. Queensland recorded 6,596 new cases and 12 deaths, ACT reported 594 new cases and Tasmania reported 625 new cases.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained 61.10 points or 0.85% to 7,268.00, after hitting a high of 7,268.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 65.00 points or 0.87% at 7,555.30. Australian stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday.
Among major miners, Rio Tinto is down 0.5%, while BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are down more than 2% each. OZ Minerals gained more than 2% and mineral resources increased by 0.5%.
Fortescue Metals reported a 32% decline in first-half profit, hurt by rising material and labor costs amid the pandemic, but beat estimates. It also declared a lower interim dividend.
Oil inventories are mixed. Origin Energy and Woodside Petroleum are down 0.5% each, while Beach Energy adds more than 1%.
Santos shed more than 3% after announcing that its annual underlying profit had more than tripled, supported by soaring oil and gas prices. The company also declared a final dividend.
In the tech space, WiseTech Global is up almost 1%, Appen is up almost 4%, Xero is up 0.4%, Block is up almost 2%, and Zip is up over 2%.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking, Westpac and National Australia Bank rose 0.5% each.
Among gold miners, Gold Road Resources and Newcrest Mining are down more than 1% each, while Northern Star Resources are down nearly 1%. Evolution Mining is up 0.5% and Resolute Mining is up almost 1%. Separately, Liontown Resources shares soared nearly 16% after the lithium miner signed a five-year deal to supply lithium spodumene concentrate to electric car maker Tesla.
CSL shares rose more than 7%, although the biotech company posted a 5% drop in first-half net profit as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited its ability to collect plasma. The company declared an interim dividend, but sees weak results for the second half and the full year.
Treasury Wine Estates reported a 7.5% decline in first-half earnings and missed market expectations. However, the stock is up almost 11%.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is trading at $0.715 on Wednesday.
The Japanese stock market is up sharply on Wednesday, recouping losses from the previous two sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei gaining more than 500 points to stay just below the 27,400 level, following broadly positive signals from Wall Street today. the next day, in a context of geopolitical relaxation. concerns following the news Russia is withdrawing some troops from the Ukrainian border.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed the morning session at 27,428.02, up 562.83 points or 2.10%, after hitting a high of 27,450.28 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Tuesday.
The SoftBank group, heavyweight in the market, gained almost 2% and the operator Uniqlo Fast Retailing added more than 2%. Among automakers, Honda adds almost 3% and Toyota gains more than 1%.
In technology, Screen Holdings, Tokyo Electron and Advantest each gain more than 4%.
In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial gained almost 1%, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial gained more than 2% each.
Among the major exporters, Canon and Sony each gained nearly 1%, while Mitsubishi Electric rose 0.5%. Panasonic is down 0.2%.
Among other big winners, Bridgestone soared more than 8%, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and TDK climbed nearly 6% each. Asahi Group Holdings gains more than 5%, while Japan Steel Works, Daiichi Sankyo and Ebara gain nearly 5% each. Yokohama Rubber, ANA Holdings and Dentsu Group are up more than 4% each, while GS Yuasa and Mitsui Chemicals add nearly 4% each.
Conversely, Inpex lost more than 5%.
In the currency market, the US dollar is trading in the upper range of 115 yen on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are up 1.2-1.6% each, while China, Malaysia and Indonesia are up 0.1-0.6 % each. Singapore bucks the trend and is down 0.1%.
On Wall Street, stocks showed strong upward movement in Tuesday’s session, regaining ground after the massive sell-off seen in the previous three sessions. The major averages all rose sharply, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the advance.
Major averages ended the session near their best levels for the day. The Dow Jones jumped 422.67 points or 1.2% to 34,988.84, the Nasdaq jumped 348.84 points or 2.5% to 14,139.76 and the S&P 500 jumped 69.40 points or 1.6% at 4,471.07.
Major European markets also showed strong bullish moves on the day. While Britain’s FTSE 100 index jumped 1%, France’s CAC 40 index and Germany’s DAX index jumped 1.9% and 2.0%, respectively.
Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday as worries about supply disruptions eased amid deescalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March ended down $3.39 or 3.6% at $92.07 a barrel.
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