Asian Markets A Sea Of Green

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Friday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as data showing cooler than expected U.S. consumer price and producer price inflation have raised hopes the US Fed’s tightening cycle will end soon. The strengthening of most Asian currencies against the US dollar also contributed to the positive mood in the market. Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Friday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving a tad above the 7,300 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 53.70 points or 0.74 percent to 7,300.60, after touching a high of 7,302.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 58.10 points or 0.78 percent to 7,513.50. Australian markets ended sharply higher on Thursday.

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

Oil stocks are higher. Santos, Beach energy, Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are all edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 5 percent, Xero is adding almost 2 percent, Zip is advancing more than 1 percent and WiseTech Global is gaining more than 2 percent, while Appen is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is edging up 0.5 percent. Westpac is flat.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Northern Star Resources, Evolution Mining and Resolute Mining are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.3 percent. Gold Road Resources is flat.

In other news, shares in Neuren Pharmaceuticals are soaring more than 15 percent after it inked an expanded licensing deal with Acadia, its US distribution partner.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.689 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher in choppy trading on Friday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 moving a tad below the 32,500 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with strong gains in technology stocks partially offset by weakness in exporters and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,493.82, up 74.49 points or 0.23 percent, after hitting a low of 32,225.37 and a high of 32,780.63 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply higher on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is also down almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.3 percent and Toyota is flat.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 5 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 2 percent and Screen Holdings is up more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.1 percent, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is losing almost 1 percent.

Among major exporters, Panasonic is declining more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.4 percent, while Sony and Canon are losing almost 2 percent each.

Among other major losers Seven & I Holdings is plunging more than 6 percent, Mitsui E&S is losing almost 4 percent, Tokai Carbon is down more than 3 percent and Suzuki Motor is declining almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is gaining almost 5 percent and Toho is adding almost 4 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 137 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan are all higher by between 0.2 and 1.1 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday, adding to the gains posted over the past few sessions. With the continued upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 once again reached their best closing levels in over a year.

The major averages gave back some ground going into the close but remained in positive territory. The Nasdaq surged 219.61 points or 1.6 percent to 14,138.57, the S&P 500 jumped 37.88 points or 0.9 percent to 4,510.04 and the narrower Dow inched up 47.71 points or 0.1 percent to 34,395.13.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.5 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Thursday as tamer-than-expected U.S. consumer price inflation and producer price inflation data raised expectations interest rates in the U.S. are very near their peak. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $1.14 or about 1.5 percent at $76.89 a barrel.

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