Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trades

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight and as traders remain concerned about the health of China, the world’s second largest economy, after a leading property developer Country Garden faced a potential bankruptcy that could shake the stuttering Chinese economy. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving a tad above the 7,300 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, boosted by gains in financial and technology stocks, which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 38.10 points or 0.52 percent to 7,315.10, after touching a high of 7,329.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 36.80 points or 0.49 percent to 7,529.90. Australian stocks closed significantly lower on Monday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Mineral Resources are edging down 0.3 to 0.5 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is advancing almost 1 percent.

Oil stocks are lower. Woodside Energy and Santos are edging down 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Origin Energy is edging up 0.4 percent and Beach energy is losing more than 1 percent.

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

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star resources and Evolution Mining are losing almost 1 percent each, while Resolute Mining is declining almost 4 percent, Gold Road Resources is slipping 1.5 percent and Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while National Australia Bank is gaining more than 1 percent.

In other news, shares in Life360 are soaring more than 13 percent after the technology company reported upbeat quarterly results and lifted full-year outlook.

Shares in Cochlear are jumping more than 6 percent after reporting higher annual profit and raising its full-year profit outlook.

Shares in Lake Resources are skyrocketing almost 29 percent after the lithium developer provided an update on its Kachi project in Argentina, where the company reported “successful testing” at the lithium brine project.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes from its Aug. 1 monetary policy meeting. At the meeting, the RBA left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.10 percent for the second straight meeting, in order to assess the impact of the past tightening on the economic activity.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.649 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Tuesday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 32,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders reacted to data showing a better than expected increase in domestic GDP, with gains across most sectors, led by technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,315.61, up 255.70 points or 0.80 percent, after touching a high of 32,403.93 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding more than 1 percent and Toyota is gaining almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are gaining more than 3 percent each, while Screen Holdings is adding almost 3 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.4 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.1 percent.

The major exporters are higher. Canon is edging up 0.3 percent and Panasonic is gaining more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are adding almost 1 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Ebara is soaring almost 8 percent and Japan Post Holdings is gaining more than 4 percent, while Mitsui Chemicals is advancing more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Dentsu Group and Citizen Watch are losing more than 7 percent each, while M3 is declining almost 4 percent.

In economic news, Japan’s gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent on quarter in the second quarter of 2023, the Cabinet Office said in Tuesday’s preliminary report. That blew away expectations for an increase of 0.8 percent following the upwardly revised 0.9 percent gain in the previous three months (originally 0.7 percent). On an annualized basis, GDP was up 6.0 percent – again beating forecasts for a gain of 3.1 percent following the upwardly revised 3.7 percent increase in the first quarter (originally 2.7 percent).

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-145 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, Malaysia Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.5 percent each. Hong Kong is down 0.9 percent, while New Zealand and China are down 0.1 percent each. South Korea is closed for Liberation day holiday.

On the Wall Street, stocks climbed higher on Monday, riding on the strength of technology shares after turning in a mixed performance on Friday. Bargain hunting contributed a bit to market’s uptick today. Activity in the market was somewhat subdued due to a lack of major U.S. economic data.

The major averages all closed higher. The Dow ended the session with a gain of 26.23 points or 0.07 percent at 35,307.63, the S&P 500 settled up 25.67 points or 0.58 percent at 4,489.72 and the Nasdaq closed with a gain of 143.48 points or 1.05 percent at 13,788.33.

Meanwhile, the major European markets closed mixed today. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index ended down by 0.23 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 0.46 percent and the French CAC 40 Index edged up 0.12 percent.

Crude oil prices dropped on Monday on concerns about the outlook for energy demand and a stronger dollar. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $0.68 or 0.8 percent at $82.51 a barrel.

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