• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Asian Markets Trade Mixed – Forex News by FX Leaders

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Monday, following the mixed cues from global markets on Friday, as easing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East lifted market sentiment. Some traders also picked up stocks at a bargain after the sell-off last week. However, interest rate concerns linger after another US Fed official signaled a longer timeline for interest rate cuts. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday.

The Australian stock market is currently trading significantly higher on Monday, snapping the six-session losing streak, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,600.00 level, following the mixed cues from global markets on Friday, with gains in mining, technology and financial stocks were partially offset by weakness in energy stocks. Easing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East lifted market sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 70.00 points or 0.93 percent to 7,637.30, after touching a high of 7,678.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 71.50 points or 0.92 percent to 7,888.90. Australian stocks closed significantly lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are gaining almost 1 percent each, while BHP Group is advancing almost 2 percent and Mineral Resources is adding more than 2 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Beach energy and Woodside Energy are declining almost 1 percent each, while Santos is edging down 0.5 percent. Origin Energy is gaining more than 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Xero and WiseTech Global are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Appen is adding almost 2 percent, Afterpay owner Block is up more than 1 percent and Zip is advancing more than 3 percent.

Gold miners are mixed. Gold Road Resources is gaining almost 2 percent and Newmont is adding almost 1 percent, while Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are edging down 0.3 percent each. Resolute Mining is losing almost 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are adding more than 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is up almost 1 percent and National Australia Bank is gaining almost 2 percent.

In other news, shares in defence tech developer Droneshield have fallen 18 percent following strong demand for an equity raise over the weekend and news of a share purchase plan.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.644 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is trading significantly higher on Monday, snapping the four-session losing streak. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is moving above the 37,300 level, following the mixed cues from global markets cues on Friday, with gains in index heavyweights, exporters and financial stocks partially offset by weakness in technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 37,334.97, up 266.62 points or 0.72 percent, after touching a high of 37,511.80 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is slipping almost 5 percent, while Advantest and Tokyo Electron are losing almost 4 percent each.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining more than 1 percent, Mizuho Financial is adding almost 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is up almost 3 percent.

The major exporters are higher. Canon and Sony are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Panasonic is adding almost 2 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is flat.

Among other major gainers, Kansai Electric Power, Osaka Gas and NTT Data are surging almost 5 percent each, while Disco is gaining more than 5 percent and Japan Exchange Group is adding almost 5 percent, while Chubu Electric Power, NEXON and Yamaha are advancing more than 4 percent each. Tokyo Gas, Sumitomo Chemical and Sumitomo Pharma are up almost 4 percent each, while Olympus, Shiseido, Omron, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Hino Motors and Odakyu Electric Railway are rising more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Socionext is plunging almost 6 percent, Disco is declining more than 4 percent and Nissan Motor is losing more than 3 percent, while Renesas Electronics, Fujikura and Sumco are down almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 154 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore are up 2.1 and 1.6 percent, respectively. South Korea and Malaysia are up 0.8 and 0.7 percent, respectively. China, Taiwan and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.3 percent each. New Zealand is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq showed a substantial move to the downside during trading on Friday, extending its recent losing streak, with technology stocks under pressure. The S&P 500 also saw further downside, while the narrower Dow bucked the downtrend.

The Nasdaq plunged 319.49 points or 2.1 percent to 15,282.01, closing lower for the sixth straight session and the S&P 500 also closed lower for the sixth straight day, slumping 43.89 points or 0.9 percent, while the Dow added to the slim gain posted in the previous session, climbing 211.02 points or 0.6 percent to 37,986.40.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged and the German DAX Index fell by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday as geopolitical tensions rose following Israel’s retaliatory attack on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended higher by $0.41 at $83.14 a barrel, although WTI crude futures shed about 3 percent in the week.


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