Asian Markets Mostly Higher On Global Cues

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Monday, following the broadly positive cues from the global markets on Friday, as fairly encouraging economic data from the U.S. and upbeat earnings updates from some top companies helped lift sentiment. Asian markets closed mostly mixed on Friday.

Traders also reacted positively to a slew of U.S. economic data, including a report showing retail sales jumped by more than expected in the month of June and U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly showed a modest improvement in the month of July.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,600 level, following the broadly positive cues from the global markets on Friday, boosted by gains in energy and materials stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 37.10 points or 0.56 percent to 6,642.70, after touching a high of 6,661.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 41.90 points or 0.62 percent to 6,839.90. Australian stocks closed significantly lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.5 percent, OZ Minerals is gaining almost 3 percent, Rio Tinto is adding more than 1 percent, Fortescue Metals is up almost 1 percent and Mineral Resources is advancing 1.5 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos, Woodside Energy and Woodside Energy are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Origin Energy is adding almost 2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is surging almost 4 percent and WiseTech Global is gaining more than 3 percent, while Xero is edging down 0.5 percent and Appen is down more than 2 percent. Zip is flat.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Gold Road Resources is losing almost 1 percent. Northern Star Resources, Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining are edging up 0.2 to 0.4 percent, while Resolute Mining is adding almost 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is flat while Westpac is adding more than 1 percent and National Australia Bank is gaining almost 1 percent.

Shares in ANZ Banking are in a trading halt after Australia’s fourth-largest lender offered to buy Australia’s second-largest insurer Suncorp Group’s banking unit for around A$4.9 billion. Suncorp shares are surging more than 6 percent. ANZ also withdrew from talks to buy software firm MYOB Group from private equity giant KKR & Co.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.681 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is closed for Marine Day holiday. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Friday to extend gains for a third straight session.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 138 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea and Hong Kong are up 1.4 and 1.1 percent, respectively. New Zealand, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each. Malaysia is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a substantial move back to the upside during trading on Friday after trending lower over the past several sessions. With the strong upward move on the day, the Dow snapped a five-session losing streak.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow spiked 658.09 points or 2.2 percent to 31,288.26, the Nasdaq jumped 201.24 points or 1.8 percent to 11,452.42 and the S&P 500 surged 72.78 points or 1.9 percent to 3,863.16.

The major European markets all also showed substantial moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index spiked 2.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index surged by 2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.7 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday, buoyed by reports that an increase in Saudi oil output is unlikely for now. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $1.81 or 1.9 percent at $97.59 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed nearly 7 percent in the week.

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