Asian Markets Mostly Higher On Global Cues
Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders continued to express optimism about the US Fed slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes despite some hawkish comments from Fed officials. Asian Markets closed mixed on Tuesday.
The Fed’s next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for December 13-14, with CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicating a 75.8 percent chance of a 50 basis point rate hike and a 24.2 percent chance of another 75 basis point rate hike.
However, lingering concerns about inflation, geopolitical tensions, and a surge in COVID-19 cases in China remain.
Meanwhile, traders look ahead to the minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting later in the day.
The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,200 level at near six-month highs, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by heavyweight mining and energy stocks amid a spike in commodity prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 40.40 points or 0.56 percent to 7,221.70, after touching a high of 7,246.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 37.30 points or 0.51 percent to 7,413.70. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Tuesday.
Among major miners, Fortescue Metals is gaining almost 1 percent and Mineral Resources is advancing more than 2 percent, while BHP Group and Rio Tinto are adding more than 1 percent each. OZ Minerals is edging down 0.2 percent.
Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy is gaining almost 3 percent, Santos is adding more than 1 percent, Woodside Energy is advancing almost 2 percent and Origin Energy is up almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block and Appen are edging up 0.1 to 0.4 percent, while Zip is gaining almost 1 percent. Xero is edging down 0.2 percent and WiseTech Global is losing 4.5 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is gaining more than 1 percent and Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.5 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are adding almost 1 percent each.
Among gold miners, Resolute Mining, Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are advancing almost 3 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 2 percent and Gold Road Resources is adding more than 3 percent.
In other news, shares in Qantas Airways are surging 5.5 percent after Australia’s flag carrier boosted its pre-tax profit guidance for the first half of fiscal 2023 amid the ongoing recovery in travel markets.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.665 on Wednesday.
The Japanese stock market is closed on account of Worker’s Day holiday on Wednesday. Japanese stocks closed significantly higher on Tuesday.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 141 yen-range on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each. New Zealand is down 0.9 percent, while China and Malaysia are down 0.1 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Tuesday after ending Monday’s trading mostly lower. With the upward move, the S&P 500 closed above 4,000 for the first time since September, while the Dow reached a three-month closing high.
The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the day just off their highs of the session. The Dow jumped 397.82 points or 1.2 percent to 34,098.10, the Nasdaq surged 149.90 points or 1.4 percent to 11,174.41 and the S&P 500 shot up 53.64 points or 1.4 percent to 4,003.58.
The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.0 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices rose sharply on Tuesday, lifted by Saudi Arabia’s statement that OPEC+ would stick with output cuts and could likely take steps to balance the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended higher by $1.07 or 1.34 percent to $81.11 a barrel.
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