Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, amid easing concerns about turmoil in the financial sector following recent coordinated steps taken by governments and the central banks to rescue distressed banks in the U.S. and Europe. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday.
Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to remarks by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said the government is prepared to once again take action to protect bank depositors if smaller lenders are threatened.
Traders also looked ahead to the US Fed’s highly anticipated monetary policy announcement later in the day. While the recent banking turmoil led to some speculation the Fed may leave interest rates unchanged, CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently indicating an 86.4 percent chance of a 25-basis point rate hike.
The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by energy and technology stocks, amid easing concerns about the crisis in the global banking sector.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 61.80 points or 0.89 percent to 7,017.20, after touching a high of 7,032.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 61.40 points or 0.86 percent to 7,203.60. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Tuesday.
Among major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.3 percent, Mineral Resources is gaining more than 3 percent, Fortescue Metals is adding more than 2 percent and Rio Tinto is up almost 1 percent. OZ Minerals is flat.
Oil stocks are mostly higher. Woodside Energy is gaining almost 5 percent, Santos is adding more than 3 percent and Origin Energy is up almost 2 percent. Beach energy is surging more than 5 percent.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is advancing more than 4 percent, Zip is gaining 3.5 percent, WiseTech Global is up more than 1 percent and Appen is surging almost 6 percent, while Xero is edging down 0.1 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Westpac is adding 1.5 percent.
Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is losing almost 2 percent, Gold Road Resources is sliding more than 6 percent, Northern Star Resources is declining almost 4 percent, Evolution Mining is down more than 3 percent and Resolute Mining is slipping almost 5 percent.
In other news, shares in Latitude Group are slipping more than 6 percent after emerging from a trading halt and the financial services firm confirming that it found more evidence of large-scale data theft from last week’s cyberattack.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.668 on Wednesday.
The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Wednesday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 27,400 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by energy and technology stocks, amid easing concerns about the crisis in the global banking sector.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,459.77, up 514.10 points or 1.91 percent, after touching a high of 27,478.47 earlier. Japanese stocks ended sharply lower on Monday ahead of the Vernal Equinox holiday on Tuesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is up almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding almost 3 percent and Toyota is gaining almost 2 percent.
In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining more than 1 percent, Advantest is adding almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is up more than 2 percent.
In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 3 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding almost 4 percent and Mizuho Financial is up more more than 3 percent.
Among the major exporters, Canon and Sony are up almost 1 percent each, while Panasonic is adding more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 2 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Ebara is gaining 5.5 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is adding almost 5 percent, while CyberAgent, Keyence, Daiwa Securities and TDK are advancing more than 4 percent each. Nomura Holdings, Nidec, Nissan Motor, Orix, Dai-ichi Life, and Minebea Mitsumi are up almost 4 percent each, while Fukuoka Financial and MS&AD Insurance are rising more than 3 percent each.
Conversely, there are no major losers.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 132 yen-range on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is surging 2.3 percent, while Singapore and Taiwan are up 1.3 percent each. New Zealand, China, Malaysia and South Korea are higher by between 0.2 and 0.9 percent each. Indonesia is closed for the Saka New Year holiday.
On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session on Tuesday, extending the upward move seen during trading on Monday. The major averages all showed strong moves to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq reaching its best closing level in over a month.
The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but held on to strong gains. The Dow jumped 316.02 points or 1.0 percent to 32,560.60, the Nasdaq surged 184.57 points or 1.6 percent to 11,860.11 and the S&P 500 shot up 51.30 points or 1.3 percent at 4,002.87.
The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both shot up by 1.8 percent.
Crude oil prices climbed higher Tuesday, gaining for a second straight session amid improving risk sentiment thanks to the coordinated efforts by major central banks to rescue troubled U.S. and European lenders. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $1.69 or 2.5 percent at $69.33 a barrel.
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