Asian Markets Mostly Higher Despite Weak Cues

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Tuesday, despite the mostly negative cues from European markets overnight, as stocks in the region rebounded after the recent sell-off with traders picking up some stocks at a bargain, even as continuing concerns remain over the outlook for interest rates and potential recession on fears of energy rationing in Europe. Asian markets closed mixed on Monday.

The fears over energy rationing in Europe as winter approaches followed Russia’s decision to extend a halt on gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Trades now look ahead to speeches from Federal Reserve officials and policy decisions from other major central banks during the week.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 6,900 level, despite the mostly negative cues from European markets overnight, with strength in resources and technology stocks, even as traders await the cash rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia later in the day.

The RBA is widely expected to deliver its fourth straight 50 basis points rate hike to 2.35 percent, its highest level since December 2014, to combat two-decade high inflation.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 2.30 points or 0.03 percent to 6,854.50, after touching a high of 6,888.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 8.70 points or 0.12 percent to 7,083.20. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is edging up 0.2 percent, BHP Group is up more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is gaining 2.5 percent, while OZ Minerals and Fortescue Metals are adding almost 2 percent each.

Oil stocks are slightly higher. Origin Energy is edging up 0.3 percent and Woodside Energy is edging up 0.4 percent . Beach energy and Santos are flat.

Among tech stocks, Appen is gaining more than 3 percent, WiseTech Global is adding more than 1 percent, Zip is surging almost 8 percent, Afterpay owner Block is up almost 1 percent amd Xero is advancing almost 2 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Evolution Mining is edging up 0.4 percent and Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 2 percent, while Northern Star Resources and Resolute Mining are adding almost 1 percent each. Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are flat, while Westpac and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.682 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is slightly lower on Tuesday after been in the green most of the morning session, extending the losses in the previous four sessions, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,600 level, following the mostly negative cues from European markets overnight, as traders remain concerned over the outlook for interest rates and rising inflation.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,624.96, up 5.35 points or 0.02 percent, after touching a high of 27,813.78 and a low of 27,557.99 earlier. Japanese shares ended slightly lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.4 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.1 percent and Toyota is gaining almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Screen Holdings is adding almost 2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging up 0.3 to 0.4 percent each.

The major exporters are higher, with Sony edging down 0.2 percent, while Panasonic is edging up 0.4 percent. Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are flat.

Among the other major losers, Tokyo Electric Power is losing more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Unitika is soaring more than 10 percent, Toho Zinc is gaining almost 5 percent and Takara Holdings is adding almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-140 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.7 percent. New Zealand and Hong Kong are down 0.2 percent each.

On Wall Street, the markets were off on Monday for the Labor Day holiday and will return to action on Tuesday.

The major European markets moved mostly to the downside on the day. While the Germany’s DAX tumbled 2.22 percent and France’s CAC 40 shed 1.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.09 percent.

Crude oil prices moved sharply higher on Monday ahead of a meeting of OPEC+ producers later in the day to decide on output cuts to support prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October delivery surged 2.6 percent to $89.10 a barrel.

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