Asian Markets Rally Amid U.S. Inflation Data

The tamer than expected U.S. inflation data in October raised hopes the US Fed will not hike interest rates soon to keep Asian stock markets in the green on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from the global markets overnight. With the U.S. inflation on a downward trajectory, further rate hikes may not be necessary. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday.

A cautious undertone is also prevailing due to concerns about a possible U.S. government shutdown should Congress fail to pass a spending plan by Friday.

Australian shares are gaining for the second straight session on Wednesday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving a tad above the 7,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors led by mining and technology stocks. The sharp decline in the US dollar boosted commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 98.20 points or 1.40 percent to 7,104.90, after touching a high of 7,125.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 106.60 points or 1.48 percent to 7,313.70. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals is gaining almost 4 percent, Mineral Resources is surging almost 6 percent, BHP Group is adding almost 2 percent and Rio Tinto is advancing almost 3 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is losing almost 1 percent, while Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are edging down 0.2 percent each. Beach energy is edging up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 4 percent, Appen is adding almost 4 percent, WiseTech Global is advancing more than 4 percent and Xero is rising almost 3 percent. Zip is flat.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is edging up 0.1 percent and ANZ Banking is adding more than 1 percent, while Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources, Newmont and Gold Road Resources are gaining almost 4 percent each, while Resolute Mining is surging almost 6 percent and Evolution Mining is advancing almost 5 percent.

In other news, shares in Seek are surging more than 6 percent after the job listing website maintained its fiscal 2024 outlook ahead of its annual general meeting later today.

Shares in Allkem are jumping almost 6 percent after Australia’s foreign investment regulator approved the proposed $16 billion merger between mining groups Allkem and Livent.

Shares in farm chemicals and seeds group Nufarm is soaring more than 9 percent after posting better-than-expected profit and revenue figures for the full year.

In economic news, Australia’s wage price index was up a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2023, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. That was in line with expectations following the upwardly revised 0.9 percent increase in the previous three months (originally 0.8 percent). On a yearly basis, wages rose 4.0 percent – beating forecasts for a gain of 3.9 percent and up from 3.6 percent in the second quarter.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.649 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Wednesday, adding to the gains in the previous two sessions, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight. The Nikkei 225 moved more the 600 points to above the 33,300 level, with gains across most sectors, led by index heavyweights, exporters and technology stocks.

Traders also digested domestic data that showed Japan’s economy shrank faster than expected in the third quarter, with the economy contracting for the first time in four quarters.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 33,341.56, up 645.63 points or 1.97 percent, after touching a high of 33,381.09 earlier. Japanese stocks ended modestly higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is advancing 1.5 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is soaring almost 8 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 3 percent and Screen Holdings is gaining more than 4 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are losing more than 1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Sony is advancing more than 4 percent, Panasonic is gaining almost 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 1 percent, while Canon is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among other major gainers, Idemitsu Kosan is skyrocketing 16.5 percent, Ebara is soaring almost 10 percent, Terumo is surging more than 9 percent, Sharp is advancing more than 6 percent and Recruit Holdings is gaining almost 5 percent, while Rakuten Group, Fanuc and TDK are adding more than 4 percent each. Mitsui Fudosan, Yaskawa Electric, Pacific Metals and Hoya are up almost 4 percent each.

Conversely, Dentsu Group is plummeting more than 9 percent, T&D Holdings is plunging almost 9 percent, Marui Group is sliding more than 7 percent, Keio is slipping almost 6 percent and NGK Insulators is losing more than 5 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, Taisei and Resona Holdings are declining almost 3 percent each.

In economic news, Japan’s gross domestic product dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2023, the Cabinet Office said in Wednesday’s preliminary report. That missed expectations for a decline of 0.1 percent following the downwardly revised 1.1 percent increase in the previous three months (originally 1.2 percent). On an annualized basis, GDP slumped 2.1 percent – again missing forecasts for a decline of 0.6 percent following the downwardly revised 4.5 percent increase in Q2 (originally 4.8 percent).

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 150 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong and South Korea are up 2.4 and 1.9 percent, respectively, while New Zealand, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 1.1 and 1.3 percent each. China, Singapore and Malaysia are up between 0.4 and 0.7 percent each.

On the Wall Street, stocks showed a substantial move to the upside during trading on Tuesday with tamer than expected inflation data generating considerable buying interest. The major averages all moved sharply higher after ending Monday’s trading narrowly mixed.

The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session going into the close but still posted strong gains. The Nasdaq soared 326.64 points or 2.4 percent to 14,094.38, the S&P 500 surged 84.15 points or 1.9 percent to 4,495.70 and the Dow jumped 489.83 points or 1.4 percent to 34,827.70.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index spiked by 1.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index surged by 1.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures failed to hold gains and settled flat on Tuesday as traders reacted to a report from the International Energy Agency that oil markets won’t be as tight as expected this quarter. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $78.26 a barrel, unchanged from the previous close.

Source: Read Full Article