Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Monday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday amid rising optimism about economic recovery thanks to upbeat economic data, easing inflation concerns and prospects of additional fiscal stimulus. Bargain hunting is offering some support, while COVID concerns kept the underlying mood cautious. Asian markets also closed mostly higher on Friday.
The awaited inflation reading preferred by the Federal Reserve showed an acceleration in the pace of price growth but not as much as traders had feared to raise concerns about the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy.
The Australian stock market is marginally lower in chopping trading on Monday, after the gains of the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying around the 7,200 mark near all-time highs, ignoring the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday. Gold miners, technology and financial stocks are leading the gainers.
Meanwhile, traders remain concerned about the rising COVID-19 infection cases in the country’s second-most populous state, which went into a 7-day lockdown over the weekend as a cluster of new cases grew in Victoria. The department of health confirmed there are now 46 active cases in the state.
Investor sentiment is upbeat amid optimism for a global economic recovery with stronger than expected data last week. They also await the RBA’s monthly policy announcement on Tuesday and the GDP data due Wednesday.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 3.40 points or 0.05 percent to 7,176.10, after touching a all-time high of 7,203.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 5.50 points or 0.07 percent to 7,418.50. Australian stocks closed significantly higher on Friday.
Among the major miners, BHP Group is edging down 0.2 percent and Mineral Resources is losing almost 3 percent, while Rio Tinto is gaining almost 1 percent. Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are edging up 0.2 percent each.
Oil stocks are lower after crude oil prices tumbled. Oil Search, Santos and Beach energy are losing more than 1 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy are down almost 1 percent each.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is flat, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are edging up 0.1 percent each. Commonwealth Bank is adding 0.4 percent.
Among tech stocks, Afterpay and Appen are edging up 0.4 percent each, while WiseTech Global and Xero are gaining almost 1 percent each.
Gold miners are higher after gold climbed. Evolution Mining is gaining more than 2 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding almost 1 percent, Northern Star Resources is up almost 2 percent, Resolute Mining is surging almost 5 percent and Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 1 percent.
In other news, shares in Nuix are plummeting almost 17 percent after the software company lowered its full-year forecasts for the second time since listing in December as its revenues could take a hit due to further trouble with new and existing customer contracts.
Link Administration Hldgs decided to boost its shareholding in property settlements platform PEXA and list it on the ASX next month after rejecting a number of takeover offers. Link shares are down more than 5 percent.
In economic news, private sector credit in Australia was up 0.2 percent on month in April, the Reserve Bank of Australia said on Monday – slowing from the 1.0 percent gain in March. On a yearly basis, credit gained 1.3 percent, accelerating from 0.4 percent in the previous month.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.773 on Monday.
Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Monday, giving up some of the gains of the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 29,000 mark, ignoring the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday. Traders remain concerned as the government enhances their response to tackle the fourth wave of coronavirus infections with the state of emergency extended for three weeks until June 20 for more than 40 percent of Japan’s population.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,928.69, down 220.72 points or 0.76 percent, after hitting a low of 28,903.70 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Nissan Motor are losing almost 3 percent each, while Toyota is adding almost 1 percent.
The major exporters are mostly lower, with Canon and Sony losing almost 2 percent each, while Panasonic edging down 0.5 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is declining more than 1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings are edging up 0.3 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are losing more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down almost 1 percent.
Among the other major losers, NTN is losing more than 4 percent, while Denko, Fukuoka Financial, Credit Saison, isuzu Motors, Okuma, Nikon, IHI and Amada are all down more than 3 percent each. Hitachi Construction Machinery, Citizen Watch, Komatsu, Japan Steel Works, Honda Moto and Shinsei Bank are all declining almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, Astellas Pharma is gaining more than 4 percent, Chugai Pharmaceutical is adding almost 2 percent and CyberAgent is up more than 1 percent.
In economic news, industrial production in Japan rose 2.5 percent on month in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 4.1 percent following the downwardly revised 1.7 percent gain in March (originally 2.2 percent). On a yearly basis, industrial production jumped 15.4 percent, beating forecasts for 13.0 percent following the 3.4 percent increase in the previous month. Upon the release of the data, the METI maintained its assessment of industrial production, saying that it is picking up.
Also on Monday, the METI said that the total value of retail sales in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent on month in April, coming in at 12.200 trillion yen. That missed expectations for a gain of 2.0 percent following the 1.2 percent increase in March. On a yearly basis, retail sales climbed 12.0 percent – again missing expectations for 15.3 percent after rising 5.2 percent in the previous month.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 109 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is gaining 1.2 percent, while New Zealand, Indonesia and South Korea are higher by between 0.2 and 0.9 percent. Malaysia is down 1 percent, while China, Hong Kong and Singapore are lower by 0.3 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday, amid rising optimism about economic recovery thanks to upbeat economic data, and prospects of additional fiscal stimulus. However, the gains were just modest for all the major averages s buying interest remained somewhat subdued.
The Dow closed up by 64.81 points or 0.19 percent at 34,529.45, more than 100 points down from the day’s high. The Nasdaq, which rose to 13,820.87, settled with a gain of 12.46 points or 0.09 percent at 13,748.74, almost at the day’s low. The S&P 500 ended up by 3.23 points or 0.08 percent at 4,204.11.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged up 0.04 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index gained 0.75 percent and 0.74 percent, respectively.
Crude oil futures settled lower Friday, snapping a five-day winning streak as traders took profits ahead to the upcoming OPEC meeting. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July fell $0.53 or 0.8 percent at $66.32 a barrel.
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