Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders react to a batch of upbeat US economic data that could significantly impact opinions regarding whether the Fed will follow through on its forecast interest rate hikes. Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday.
There has been an unexpected surge in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of May, a sharp increase in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of May and a significant improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of June.
The Australian stock market is notably higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving to just below the 7,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in technology and financial stocks partially offset by losses in gold miners.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 68.70 points or 0.97 percent to 7,186.90, after touching a high of 7,215.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 70.90 points or 0.97 percent to 7,370.90. Australian stocks ended notably higher on Tuesday.
Among major miners, Fortescue Metals and BHP Group are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while Mineral Resources is gaining almost 2 percent and Rio Tinto is flat.
Oil stocks are mostly higher. Woodside Energy is edging up 0.3 percent and Santos is gaining almost 1 percent, while Origin Energy is edging down 0.1 percent. Beach energy is flat.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 3 percent, Xero is up more than 1 percent, Appen is advancing almost 2 percent, WiseTech Global is adding almost 1 percent and Zip is rising more than 2 percent.
Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each, while National Australia Bank and Westpac are adding more than 1 percent each.
Among gold miners, Gold Road Resources and Newcrest Mining are losing almost 1 percent each, while Resolute Mining and Northern Star Resources are slipping almost 2 percent each. Evolution Mining is declining more than 2 percent.
In other news, shares in Ramsay Healthcare are surging more than 6 percent after it again announced plans to sell its Asian healthcare joint-venture with Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.664 on Wednesday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Wednesday, snapping a four-session losing streak, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 32,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in exporters, technology and financial stocks.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,842.39, up 304.06 points or 0.93 percent, after touching a high of 32,885.26 earlier. Japanese stocks ended notably lower on Tuesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is adding almost 2 percent.
In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Advantest are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is adding more than 1 percent.
In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is adding almost 2 percent.
Among the major exporters, Sony and Canon are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic are adding almost 1 percent each.
Among other major gainers, Nippon Sheet Glass is surging more than 8 percent and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone is gaining almost 4 percent, while Nomura Holdings and Yamaha Motor are adding almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is losing 5.5 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 143 yen-range on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each. China and South Korea are down 0.5 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, regaining ground following recent weakness. The major averages all moved to the upside on the day, with the Dow snapping a six-session losing streak.
The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but held on to strong gains. The Nasdaq surged 219.89 points or 1.7 percent to 13,555.67, the S&P 500 jumped 49.59 points or 1.2 percent to 4,378.41 and the Dow climbed 212.03 points or 0.6 percent to 33,926.74.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index inched up by 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.1 percent.
Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday amid concerns about the outlook for fuel demand due to economic slowdown, and rising prospects of more interest rate hikes. Reports indicating possible excess supply in the market weighed as well on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended lower by $1.67 or 2.4 percent at $67.70 a barrel.
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