Asian Markets Mostly Higher On Economic Recovery Optimism
Asian stock markets, led by Japan, are mostly higher on Tuesday despite the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street, which was closed overnight for a holiday. Optimism about a global economic recovery as countries such as Japan and Spain ease lockdown restrictions and a survey showing an improvement in German business confidence lifted stocks.
News that U.S. biotech firm Novavax has commenced the first human trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine also bolstered sentiment.
The Australian market is extending gains from the previous session.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 45.80 points or 0.82 percent to 5,661.40, after touching a high of 5,668.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is advancing 46.50 points or 0.81 percent to 5,776.40. Australian markets closed sharply higher on Monday.
In the oil sector, Woodside Petroleum is gaining almost 3 percent, while Oil Search and Santos are rising almost 2 percent each.
In the banking space, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are higher in a range of 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is adding almost 1 percent.
The major miners are mostly lower. Fortescue Metals is declining more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is edging down 0.1 percent, while BHP is adding 0.3 percent.
Gold miners are mixed. Evolution Mining is adding 0.7 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down 0.4 percent.
Coca Cola Amatil said its group sales volumes dropped about 33 percent in April from the year-ago period, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across its major markets. Volumes remained 26 percent lower in the first three weeks of May. The company’s shares are adding 0.3 percent.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6549, compared to Monday’s close of $0.6524.
The Japanese market is notably higher. Investor sentiment was boosted after the Japanese government on Monday lifted a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 392.92 points or 1.89 percent to 21,134.57, after touching a high of 21,159.56 earlier. Japanese shares posted strong gains on Monday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is rising more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is gaining more than 4 percent.
The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is higher by almost 3 percent, Canon is advancing more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent, while Sony is down 0.5 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are rising more than 1 percent each. Among automakers, Honda Motor is gaining almost 4 percent, and Toyota is rising 2 percent.
In the oil sector, Inpex is adding 0.6 percent and Japan Petroleum is up 0.3 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Japan Steel Works is gaining more than 11 percent and IHI Corp. is rising more than 6 percent. West Japan Railway and Alps Alpine are higher by more than 5 percent each.
On the flip side, Ajinomoto Co. is losing more than 3 percent, while Rakuten and Fujikura are lower by more than 2 perent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 107 yen-range on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also higher, while Singapore and Malaysia are lower. The Indonesian market remained closed for the Eid ul-Fitr holidays.
Overnight, the U.S. markets were closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
The major European markets ended on a strong note on Monday. Germany’s DAX surged up 2.87 percent and France’s CAC 40 climbed up 2.15 percent, while the U.K. market was closed for the Spring bank holiday.
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