Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Friday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains from technology stocks were partially offset by weakness from the energy companies. Traders also digested the latest batch of economic data from the U.S., and the European Central Bank’s decision to hike interest rates by 50 basis points, the first rate hike in over a decade. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.
The Australian stock market is modestly higher in choppy trading on Friday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 6,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with strength in gold miners, technology and financial stocks partially offset by weakness in materials and energy stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 20.50 points or 0.30 percent to 6,814.80, after hitting a low of 6,758.50 and high of 6,816.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 18.00 points or 0.26 percent to 7,036.40. Australian markets ended modestly higher on Thursday.
Among major miners, Rio Tinto is edging down 0.4 percent, BHP Group is down almost 1 percent, OZ Minerals is edging up 0.5 percent, Mineral Resources is declining almost 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.2 percent.
Oil stocks are lower. Origin Energy is losing more than 1 percent and Santos is slipping 2.5 percent, while Beach energy and Woodside Energy are declining almost 2 percent each.
Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is edging up 0.4 percent, Zip is adding 3.5 percent and Appen is losing more than 1 percent, while Afterpay owner Block is edging down 0.1 percent. Xero is flat.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is up almost 1 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are gaining more than 1 percent each. Commonwealth Bank is flat.
Gold miners are higher. Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is advancing more than 3 percent, Resolute Mining is surging almost 4 percent and Evolution Mining is adding 1.5 percent.
In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in July, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from S&P Global said on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 55.7. That’s down from 56.2 in June, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI fell to 50.4 in July from 52.6 in June, while the composite PMI slipped to 50.6 from 52.6 a month earlier.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.692 on Friday.
The Japanese stock market is modestly higher in choppy trading on Friday after starting the session briefly in the red, extending the gains in the previous six sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 staying below the 27,900 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, boosted by strength in technology stocks.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,870.33, up 67.33 points or 0.24 percent, after touching a high of 27,910.86 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly higher on Thursday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing more than 1 percent, while Toyota is flat.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings are adding almost 1 percent each.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.4 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.2 percent and Mizuho Financial is flat.
Among major exporters, Canon is edging up 0.5 percent, while Panasonic is edging down 0.2 percent. Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are flat.
Among the other major gainers, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is soaring more than 9 percent and Nippon Yusen K.K. is gaining almost 4 percent, while Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Keyence are adding more than 3 percent. Konami Group is up almost 3 percent.
Conversely, JGC Holdings, Tokyo Electric Power is losing more than 5 percent and Osaka Gas is declining almost 3 percent.
In economic news, overall consumer prices in Japan were up 2.4 percent on year in June, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That was in line with expectations and down from 2.5 percent in May. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, was up an annual 2.2 percent – again matching forecasts and up from 2.1 percent in the previous month. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices were flat – slowing from the upwardly revised 0.3 percent increase in May (originally 0.2 percent).
The latest survey from Jibun Bank said the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in July, albeit at a slower pace, with a manufacturing PMI score of 52.2. That’s down from 52.7 in June, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI fell to 51.2 in July from 54.2 in June, while the composite PMI slipped to 50.6 from 53.2 a month earlier.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-137 yen-range on Friday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.7 percent each. South Korea and Taiwan are down 0.5 and 0.1 percent, respectively.
On Wall Street, stocks saw significant volatility over the course of the trading session on Thursday but managed to end the day notably higher. The major averages extended a recent upward trend, reaching their best closing levels in over a month.
The major averages saw further upside going into the close, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow climbed 162.06 points or 0.5 percent to 32,036.90, the Nasdaq surged 161.96 points or 1.4 percent to 12,059.61 and the S&P 500 jumped 39.05 points or 1 percent to 3,998.95.
Meanwhile, the major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent.
Crude oil prices tumbled on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand in the near term due to slowing economic growth and rising interest rates. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $3.53 or 3.5 percent at $96.35 a barrel.
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