Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Friday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders remain cautious in making large moves as they brace for the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium later today. Traders also digested a slew of earnings updates and economic data. Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday.
Powell is widely expected to reiterate the central bank’s hawkish stance, given the expectations that inflation in the U.S. will be persistent and it will take time to contain it. That has already largely been priced into the markets.
The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Friday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 just below the 7,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with a mixed performance across sectors as traders cautiously make moves ahead of an expected hawkish message from the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the annual Jackson Hole economic symposium later today.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 69.20 points or 0.98 percent to 7,117.30, after touching a high of 7,119.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 64.10 points or 0.88 percent to 7,356.00. Australian markets ended significantly higher on Thursday.
Among major miners, BHP Group, Mineral Resources and Fortescue Metals are adding more than 1 percent each, while and Rio Tinto is up almost 1 percent and OZ Minerals is edging up 0.1 percent.
Oil stocks are mixed. Origin Energy is edging up 0.2 percent, while Beach energy and Santos are losing almost 1 percent each. Woodside Energy is flat.
Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is edging up 0.5 percent and Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 1 percent, while Zip is edging down 0.5 percent and Appen is slipping more than 2 percent. Xero is flat.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are all edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.
Gold miners are weak. Northern Star Resources is slipping almost 1 percent, while Newcrest Mining, Gold Road Resources and Evolution Mining are losing almost 2 percent each. Resolute Mining is flat.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.697 on Friday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Friday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains in exporters and technology stocks, which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Traders are also cautious in making moves ahead of an expected hawkish message from the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the annual Jackson Hole economic symposium later today.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,745.42, up 266.41 points or 0.94 percent, after touching a high of 28,792.93 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging up 0.4 percent each.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 1 percent, Screen Holdings is adding almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 3 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is flat, while Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each.
Among major exporters, Canon and Sony are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.5 percent. Panasonic is flat.
Among the other major gainers, Unitika is surging more than 6 percent and Toray Industries is gaining almost 4 percent, while Toray Industries, Komatsu and Yamaha are adding almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, there are no major losers.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 136 yen-range on Friday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent each, while Indonesia is bucking the trend and is edging down 0.1 percent.
On Wall Street, stocks closed on a strong note on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session, with several counters seeing sustained buying ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech in the Jackson Hole Symposium.Powell is widely expected to reiterate the central bank’s hawkish stance, given the expectations that inflation in the U.S. will be persistent and it will take time to contain it.
The major averages all ended with impressive gains. The Dow surged 322.55 points or 0.98 percent to 33,291.78. The S&P 500 climbed 38.55 points or 1.41 percent to 4,199.12, while the Nasdaq ended stronger by 207.74 points or 1.67 percent at 12,639.27.
The major European markets also moved mostly to the upside on the day. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.11 percent and Germany’s DAX surged 0.39 percent, while France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.08 percent.
Crude oil futures settled lower Thursday, after posting gains in the previous two sessions. Oil prices fell as traders weighed the prospects for the return of Iranian oil to the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended lower by $2.37 or 2.5 percent at $92.52 a barrel.
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