Asian stock markets are higher on Monday, following broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with US equities closing at fresh all time highs last week, as investors are upbeat on a global economy recovery that is expected to deliver the fastest economic growth since 1984 amid recent strong data out of the U.S and higher crude oil prices.
Bank stocks also rallied after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said lenders can resume buybacks and announce higher dividends once the stress tests on banks are over.
However, investors remain cautious after the European Commission’s warning that the European Union is at the start of a third wave of the pandemic and extension of lockdown measures in several parts of Europe. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Friday.
The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Monday after shedding early gains, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,800 level, as broad gains in materials and energy stocks were offset by losses in technology stocks. The cues from Wall Street on Friday were broadly positive.
The market is also cautious after the end of the Australian Government’s JobKeeper program on Sunday, which could lead to huge job losses. Meanwhile, Greater Brisbane is set to go into a three-day lockdown and restrictions will come into place across Queensland after several cases of COVID-19 transmission were detected in the community.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 13.90 points or 0.20 percent to 6,810.30, after touching a high of 6,860.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 16.40 points or 0.23 percent to 7,046.70. Australian stocks closed higher on Friday.
Among the major miners, BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are gaining almost 2 percent each, while OZ Minerals is adding more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is up more than 2 percent.
Oil stocks are mostly higher after crude oil prices jumped on Friday. Oil Search is up more than 1 percent, Santos is adding almost 2 percent and Woodside Petroleum is gaining almost 1 percent.
The big four banks are mixed. National Australia Bank and Westpac are up almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is gaining more than 1 percent, Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.1 percent.
Among tech stocks, Afterpay and WiseTech Global are losing more than 2 percent each, while Appen is down almost 2 percent, Zip is declining more than 3 percent and Altium is down more than 1 percent.
Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources are edging up 0.3 percent each, while Evolution Mining is adding 0.1 percent.
Shares in The Treasury Wine Estates are down more than 1 percent after news emerged that China will keep tariffs on Australian wine for five more years.
Shares in Karoon energy are up almost 4 percent after it announced plans for a Brazilian business unit and a major company restructure that sees the Hosking family losing some control.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.764 on Monday.
Japanese stock market is higher on Monday, extending gains of the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 above the 29,400 level, following broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday. Investors continue to seek bargains after a sharp drop early last week.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,484.57, up 307.87 points or 1.06 percent, after touching a high of 29,510.66 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is down more than 2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is adding almost 2 percent.
The major exporters are also higher. Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are up more than 1 percent, while Sony is gaining almost 2 percent and Canon is adding nearly 3 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding almost 4 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.4 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 2 percent, while Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.3 percent.
Shares in Nomura Holdings are plummeting almost 14 percent after the Japanese brokerage said it may take a huge loss of about $2 billion from a transaction executed by its U.S. subsidiary with a U.S. client. The company also said it will cancel the planned issuance of U.S. dollar senior notes.
Among the other major gainers, CyberAgent is gaining almost 5 percent, while Rakuten and Screen holdings are adding almost 4 percent each. Aeon and Nitto Denko are up almost 3 percent each, while Sumitomo Metal Mining, Subaru, Sumco and Kao Corp. are higher by more than 2 percent each.
Conversely, Hitachi Zosen, Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Light metal are losing more than 3 percent each, while Daiwa Securities, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are down almost 3 percent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 109 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is gaining more than 1 percent, while New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong are higher by between 0.3 and 0.6 percent.
On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Friday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the previous session. With the continued advance, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended the session at new record closing highs.
The major averages accelerated to the upside going into the close. The Dow surged up 453.40 points or 1.4 percent to 33,072.88, the Nasdaq jumped 161.05 points or 1.2 percent to 13,138.73 and the S&P 500 spiked 65.02 points or 1.7 percent to 3,974.54.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1 percent, the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.6 percent.
Crude oil prices rose sharply Friday on concerns it might take several weeks to dislodge the giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $2.41 or 4.1 percent at $60.97 a barrel.
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