Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as data showing a tamer-than-expected increase in U.S. consumer prices helped ease concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the US Fed’s rate decision later in the day. Asian Markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday.
The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rate by another 50 basis points, with traders likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for future rate hikes.
Traders are also optimistic the Fed, the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of England will all tone down their hawkish stances this week to help prevent a potential recession.
The Australian stock market is trading modestly higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with tamer-than-expected increase in U.S. consumer prices helping ease concerns about the outlook for interest rates.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 34.30 points or 0.48 percent to 7,237.60, after touching a high of 7,242.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 35.70 points or 0.48 percent to 7,424.90. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Tuesday.
Among major miners, BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Mineral Resources are edging down 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is losing more than 1 percent. OZ Minerals is edging up 0.1 percent.
Oil stocks are lower. Santos is edging up 0.4 percent, Woodside Energy is gaining almost 2 percent, Beach energy is adding almost 1 percent and Origin Energy is advancing 1.5 ercent.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 7 percent and Xero is gaining more than 1 percent, while Appen and WiseTech Global are down almost 1 percent each. Zip is losing more than 2 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ Banking are losing almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.4 percent.
Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are gaining 2.5 percent each, while Evolution Mining is advancing more than 3 percent and Northern Star Resources is adding almost 2 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.
Other news, shares in TPG Telecom are down almost 5 percent after it confirmed that up to 15,000 email accounts of business customers were hacked.
Shares in Endeavour Group are also slipping more than 5 percent after supermarket giant Woolworths sold a 5.5 percent stake worth about $640 million in the alcohol retailer.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.683 on Wednesday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted to domestic data that showed machinery orders from Japanese firms exceeding forecasts in October.
The tamer-than-expected increase in U.S. consumer prices that helped ease concerns about the outlook for interest rates also aided market sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,141.41, up 186.56 points or 0.67 percent, after touching a high of 28,175.44 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Tuesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is flat. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.3 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.2 percent.
In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is gaining more than 2 percent, while Advantest and Screen Holdings are adding more than 1 percent each.
In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging down 0.3 to 0.4 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.1 percent.
Among the major exporters, Sony is gaining more than 1 percent, while Canon, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are adding almost 1 percent each.
Among the other major gainers, Toray Industries is surging more than 6 percent, Nippon Sheet Glass is adding more than 3 percent and Mitsui Chemicals is up almost 3 percent.
Conversely, Mitsubishi Motors is losing almost 3 percent.
In economic news, large manufacturing in Japan weakened in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan Survey of business sentiment showed on Wednesday with a diffusion index score of +7. That beat forecasts for a reading of +6 but was down from +8 three months ago. The outlook came in at +6, matching expectations and down from +9 in the previous quarter. The large non-manufacturers index came in at +19, beating forecasts for +17 and up from +14. The outlook was +11, missing forecasts for +16 and unchanged from three months earlier.
The value of core machine orders in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 5.4 percent on month in October, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday – coming in at 914.7 billion yen. That beat forecasts for an increase of 2.6 percent following the 4.6 percent decline in September. On a yearly basis, core machine orders added 0.4 percent – well shy of expectations for 2.6 percent and slowing from 2.9 percent in the previous month. For the fourth quarter of 2022, core machine orders are forecast to have risen by 3.6 percent on quarter and 5.3 percent on year.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-135 yen-range on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is up 1.1 percent, while China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent each. New Zealand is relatively flat.
On Wall Street, stocks gave back ground after an early rally on Tuesday but managed to finish the day mostly higher. The major averages added to the strong gains posted on Monday, further offsetting the steep drop seen last week.
After soaring by more than 700 points in early trading, the Dow briefly dipped into negative territory before closing up 103.60 points or 0.3 percent at 34,108.64. The Nasdaq jumped 113.08 points or 1.0 percent to 11,256.81, while the S&P 500 climbed 29.09 points or 0.7 percent to 4,019.65.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices rose sharply on Tuesday due to concerns about supply disruptions amid the ongoing shutdown of the Keystone pipeline following a massive leak last week, while a weak dollar also supported oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended higher by $2.22 or 3 percent at $75.39 a barrel.
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