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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

Asian Markets Rise; Japan Modestly Lower After Earthquake

by November 22, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stock markets are in positive territory on Tuesday after U.S. stocks closed at new record highs overnight following the surge in crude oil prices. Bucking the trend, the Japanese market is modestly lower as investors assessed the impact of an earthquake that hit northern Japan early Tuesday.

The Australian market is advancing, recovering from the previous session’s losses following the positive cues from Wall Street as well as higher crude oil and base metal prices.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is rising 50.80 points or 0.95 percent to 5,402.10, off a high of 5,404.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 48.80 points or 0.90 percent to 5,468.10.

In the oil sector, Santos is gaining 3 percent, while Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are advancing almost 2 percent each after crude oil prices surged overnight.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is rising more than 2 percent, Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is up almost 1 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining is down 0.3 percent, while Evolution Mining is rising 0.5 percent.

A2 Milk Co. said it hopes to adopt a dividend policy at the end of the current financial year if the positive trends in the business continue. The company’s shares are gaining more than 7 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher on strong oil prices and a pause in the U.S. dollar’s rally. In late-morning trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7357, up from US$0.7322 on Monday.

The Japanese market is modestly lower in choppy trades, ending a four-day winning streak, as investors digested news of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit northeastern Japan early Tuesday morning.

The epicenter of the earthquake was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture. The yen too strengthened against the dollar after news of the earthquake.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 25.20 points or 0.14 percent to 18,080.82, off a low of 18,050.55 in early trades.

Among the major exporters, Sony and Toshiba are adding more than 1 percent each and Panasonic is edging up 0.05 percent, while Canon is down 0.2 percent.

Automaker Toyota is declining almost 1 percent and Honda is lower by 0.4 percent.

Nissan Motor’s shares are lower by almost 1 percent after the automaker said it will suspend work at its engine factory in Fukushima, until a tsunami warning is lifted following a powerful earthquake in northern Japan early Tuesday.

Fast Retailing is losing 0.2 percent and SoftBank is edging up less than 1 percent. In the oil space, Inpex is rising 2 percent and JX Holdings is adding 1 percent following the overnight surge in crude oil prices.

Among the other major gainers, Mitsui Mining & Smelting is rising almost 3 percent and Konica Minolta is adding 2.6 percent. On the flip side, Nippon Yusen KK is losing almost 3 percent, Sumco Corp. is down 2.6 percent and Mazda Motor is lower by 2.5 percent.

In economic news, Japan will provide October numbers for department store sales today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 110 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are all in positive territory.

On Wall Street, stocks closed at new record highs on Monday amid relatively light pre-holiday trading activity following a sharp increase in the price of crude oil. News on the merger-and-acquisition front also generated some buying interest.

The Dow rose 88.76 points or 0.5 percent to 18,956.69, the Nasdaq advanced 47.35 points or 0.9 percent to 5,368.86 and the S&P 500 climbed 16.28 points or 0.8 percent to 2,198.18.

The major European markets also moved higher on Monday. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index closed just above the unchanged line, the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures surged Monday amid optimism that OPEC members will agree to reduce output at a meeting next week. WTI crude for December delivery jumped $1.80 or 3.9 percent to close at $47.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX