Asian Markets Higher On Trade Talk Optimism – Markets Insider

(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are higher on Thursday, while bonds and gold slid following the overnight rebound on Wall Street and on optimism about potential negotiations between the U.S. and China to resolve the escalating trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

The Australian market is advancing. In late-morning trades, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 23.50 points or 0.41 percent to 5,784.90. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 22.10 points or 0.38 percent to 5,885.80.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank are higher in a range of 0.5 percent to more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly higher despite a decline in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum is rising 0.5 percent and Oil Search is edging up 0.1 percent, while Santos is unchanged.

Meanwhile, the major miners are mostly lower following an overnight drop in iron ore prices. Fortescue Metals is declining more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is down almost 1 percent, while BHP Billiton is edging up less than 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are mixed even as gold prices rose slightly. Evolution Mining is rising 0.5 percent, while Newcrest Mining is lower by 0.4 percent each.

Murray Goulburn trust units are unchanged ahead of its shareholders’ meeting today to vote on the company’s $1.3 billion takeover by Canadian dairy giant Saputo.

In economic news, Australia will release its trade balance figures for February today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. The local unit was trading at US$0.7716, up from US$0.7693 on Wednesday.

The Japanese market is rising, tracking the overnight rebound on Wall Street and a weaker yen.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 208.10 points or 0.98 percent to 21,527.65, off a high of 21,584.89 earlier.

In the tech space, Advantest is down almost 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is adding 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Canon is gaining almost 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is rising more than 1 percent and Sony is adding almost 1 percent, while Panasonic is down more than 2 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota is adding 0.2 percent and Honda is rising 0.3 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by 0.5 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.4 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is edging down less than 0.1 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is adding almost 1 percent.

Among the market’s best performers, Dena Co. is rising more than 4 percent, Terumo Corp. is higher by more than 3 percent and Kyowa Hakko Kirin is advancing almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, Furukawa Electric is down almost 3 percent, while Mazda Motor and Mitsui Mining & Smelting are declining more than 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 106 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia are all notably higher, while New Zealand is modestly lower. The markets in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are closed on Thursday for holidays.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded on Wednesday as traders shrugged off trade war concerns that initially weighed on the markets following news China issued a list of 106 U.S. products that will be subject to additional tariffs. On the U.S. economic front, payroll processor ADP released a report showing stronger than expected private sector job growth in the month of March.

The Dow jumped 230.94 points or 1 percent to 24,264.30, the Nasdaq soared 100.83 points or 1.5 percent to 7,042.11 and the S&P 500 surged up 30.24 points or 1.2 percent to 2,644.69.

The major European markets closed mixed on Wednesday. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil futures slipped Wednesday despite confirming a drop in U.S. oil supplies. Markets were rattled by concerns over a brewing trade war, but managed to recover from steep early losses. WTI crude fell $0.14 or 0.2 percent to close at $63.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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