Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted positively to cooler-than-expected US inflation data in the month of June, which eased concerns about the outlook for interest rates. The report also showed a notable slowdown in the annual rate of US consumer price growth. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.
While the US Fed is still widely expected to raise interest rates by another quarter point later this month, the data has led to renewed optimism that will be the end of the central bank’s rate-hiking cycle.
The Australian stock market is sharply higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by gold miners and financial stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 104.40 points or 1.46 percent to 7,240.10, after touching a high of 7,242.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 106.40 points or 1.45 percent to 7,447.90. Australian stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday.
Among major miners, BHP Group is gaining 1.5 percent and Mineral Resources is adding more than 2 percent, while Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto are advancing almost 1 percent each.
Oil stocks are higher. Santos and Woodside Energy are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Origin Energy and Beach energy are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is edging up 0.2 percent, Zip is gaining more than 1 percent, WiseTech Global is adding almost 2 percent and Xero is advancing more than 2 percent, while Appen is losing almost 1 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is adding more than 1 percent.
Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is surging more than 7 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding almost 4 percent, Resolute Mining is advancing almost 7 percent, Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 5 percent and Gold Road Resources is up more than 5 percent.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.681 on Thursday.
The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Thursday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 32,300 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by exporters and technology stocks.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,357.04, up 413.11 points or 1.29 percent, after touching a high of 32,360.04 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Wednesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding 1.5 percent. Among automakers, Toyota and Honda are edging up 0.1 to 0.4 percent each.
In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining almost 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 1 percent and Advantest is advancing more than 2 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing more than 1 percent, Mizuho Financial is down almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.5 percent.
Among the major exporters, Canon is edging up 0.2 percent, Sony is gaining almost 5 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent. Panasonic is flat.
Among other major gainers, Daiichi Sankyo is gaining almost 5 percent and Recruit Holdings is adding more than 4 percent, while Sumitomo Metal Mining and M3 are up more than 3 percent each. Shin-Etsu Chemical, Renesas Electronics and Z Holdings are advancing almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, there are no other major losers.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-138 yen-range on Thursday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is up 2.4 percent, while New Zealand, China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are higher by between 0.7 and 1.5 percent each. Malaysia and Indonesia are up 0.2 and 0.1 percent, respectively.
On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, extending the upward move seen to start the week. With the continued advance, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended the session at their best closing levels in over a year.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 158.26 points or 1.2 percent to 13,918.96 and the S&P 500 climbed 32.90 points or 0.7 percent to 4,472.16. The narrower Dow pulled back well off its best levels of the day but still closed up 86.01 points or 0.3 percent at 34,347.43.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index surged by 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Crude oil futures showed a notable move to the upside during trading on Wednesday, adding to the surge seen in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $0.92 or 1.2 percent at $72.71 a barrel.
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