Asian Markets Trading Mixed

Despite the broadly positive cues from global markets on Friday, Asian stock markets are trading mixed in slim holiday trading on Monday, as traders are cautious amid the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East after Hamas’ surprise violent attack on Israel over the weekend. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

Concerns about the outlook for interest rates also remain after data showed a much larger than expected addition of US jobs in the month of September.

Traders now await later in the week data on US inflation, and the minutes from the US Fed’s latest policy meeting, for clues about the outlook for interest rates.

The spike in commodity prices is pushing the Australian stock market modestly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is moving to nearly the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets on Friday, with gains across most markets, led by in gold miners and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 34.40 points or 0.50 percent to 6,988.60, after touching a high of 6,998.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 33.30 points or 0.47 percent to 7,176.30. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Friday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Woodside Energy and Santos are gaining almost 3 percent each, while Origin Energy is edging up 0.2 percent and Beach energy is adding more than 2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block and Xero are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Appen is edging up 0.5 percent. WiseTech Global is edging down 0.1 percent. Zip is flat.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 3 percent, Northern Star Resources is surging almost 5 percent, Evolution Mining is soaring more than 6 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding more than 4 percent and Resolute Mining is advancing more than 5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.5 percent, while ANZ Banking, Westpac and National Australia Bank are adding almost 1 percent each.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.637 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is closed on account of Sports Day holiday. Japanese shares ended modestly lower on Friday.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 149 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China and Singapore are lower by between 0.3 and 0.8 percent each, while Malaysia and Indonesia are up 0.2 percent each. Hong Kong is delayed due to Typhoon Koinu warning. Taiwan is closed for National Day and South Korea is closed for Hangul Day.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a substantial turnaround over the course of the trading session on Friday, rebounding from early weakness to end the day sharply higher. The major averages all moved to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the charge.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Nasdaq surged 211.51 points or 1.6 percent to 13,431.34, the S&P 500 jumped 50.31 points or 1.2 percent to 4,308.50 and the Dow advanced 288.01 points or 0.9 percent to 33,407.58.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher Friday following recent losses, after data showed stronger than expected growth in U.S. non-farm payroll employment in September. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November added $0.48 or 0.6 percent at $82.79 a barrel. But WTI crude futures shed 9 percent in the week.

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