Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday following the record closing highs overnight on Wall Street. Upbeat economic data from the U.S. and China as well as hopes of more stimulus boosted investor sentiment.

The Australian market is advancing after three days of losses and following the record closing highs on Wall Street. Investors shrugged off data that confirmed Australia fell into a recession.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 79.30 points or 1.33 percent to 6,032.70, after touching a high of 6,043.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 78.80 points or 1.28 percent to 6,222.00. Australian stocks closed lower for a third straight session on Tuesday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are gaining more than 3 percent each, while Rio Tinto is higher by almost 3 percent.

In the banking space, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are advancing more than 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is adding 0.6 percent and National Australia Bank is up 0.3 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher after crude oil prices rose overnight. Santos is rising 0.4 percent and Woodside Petroleum is up 0.2 percent, while Oil Search is down 0.6 percent.

Gold miners are mixed after gold prices edged higher overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing almost 1 percent, while Evolution Mining is adding 0.5 percent.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australia’s gross domestic product or GDP was down a seasonally adjusted 7.0 percent on quarter in the second quarter of 2020. That missed expectations for a fall of 5.9 percent following the 0.3 percent decline in the three months prior, sending the country into recession.

The Japanese market is rising following the record closing highs on Wall Street and a weaker yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 96.52 points or 0.42 percent to 23,234.59, after touching a high of 23,287.40 earlier. Japanese stocks ended on a flat note on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing are both advancing more than 1 percent each.

The major exporters are mixed despite a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 1 percent and Sony is adding almost 1 percent, while Canon is declining almost 1 percent and Panasonic is down 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is higher by more than 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding 0.6 percent. In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down 0.2 percent.

Among automakers, Toyota is edging up 0.1 percent and Honda Motor is lower by 0.2 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is lower by almost 2 percent and Japan Petroleum is declining almost 1 percent after crude oil prices rose modestly overnight.

Among the major gainers, Dena Co, Taiyo Yuden and Screen Holdings are rising more than 4 percent each, while M3 is higher by more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Nippon Kayaku is tumbling more than 8 percent and Citizen Watch is lower by almost 3 percent. Alps Alpine, Credit Saison, Hino Motors and Mitsui E&S Holdings are all losing more than 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan are also rising, while South Korea is edging higher. Meanwhile, Shanghai, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong are lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reaching new record closing highs. Technology stocks saw continued strength on the day, with Apple helping to lead the sector higher after yesterday’s stock split. Adding to the positive sentiment, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing manufacturing activity in the U.S. expanded at a faster rate in the month of August.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly strong advance on the day, surging up 164.21 points or 1.4 percent to 11,939.67. The Dow climbed 215.61 points or 0.8 percent to 28,635.66 and the S&P 500 advanced 26.34 points or 0.8 percent to 3,526.65.

The major European markets ended mixed on Tuesday. The German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent.

Crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Tuesday ahead of weekly inventory data. WTI crude for October gained $0.15 or about 0.4 percent to settle at $42.76 a barrel.

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