Asian Markets Mixed, Japanese Shares Rise – Markets Insider

(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mixed on Tuesday with a decline in tech shares and rising U.S. bond yields weighing on investor sentiment. Rising bond yields have triggered concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve will accelerate its pace of interest rate hikes.

Investors also remained cautious ahead of upcoming earnings results from major companies this week. Meanwhile, a weaker safe-haven yen boosted Japanese shares. Crude oil prices extended gains in Asian trades.

The Australian market is modestly higher, with investors shrugging off the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street amid optimism about global economic growth. Banks and oil stocks are among the major gainers, while mining stocks declined.

In late-morning trades, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 9.20 points or 0.16 percent to 5,895.20, off a high of 5,907.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 8.60 points or 0.14 percent to 5,984.60.

In the banking sector, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.5 percent to 0.9 percent. ANZ Banking is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher after crude oil prices rebounded on Monday. Oil Search is adding 0.6 percent, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.5 percent and Santos is rising 2 percent.

In the mining space, BHP Billiton is declining 1 percent and Rio Tinto is losing more than 2 percent after aluminium prices recorded their biggest one-day fall since 2010 overnight.

Shares of Fortescue Metals are down more than 4 percent after the miner reported a 2 percent decline in iron ore shipments for the third quarter due to cyclone activity impacting port operations and wet weather at its mines.

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is down 0.6 percent, while Newcrest Mining is adding 0.4 percent after gold prices touched a two-week low overnight.

Boral expects the sale of its NSW property to contribute A$56 million to fiscal 2018 earnings and also revised the earnings outlook for its Australian and North American units. The building materials supplier’s shares are falling more than 8 percent.

Macquarie Atlas Roads reported a 5 percent increase in toll revenue for the March quarter, while traffic volumes grew 3.4 percent. The toll roads operator’s shares are edging up less than 0.1 percent.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that consumer prices in Australia were up 0.4 percent on quarter in the first quarter of 2018. That was shy of expectations for 0.5 percent and down from 0.6 percent in the three months prior.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar fell to a more than four-month low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was trading at US$0.7599, down from US$0.7671 on Monday.

The Japanese market is advancing, with a weaker safer-haven yen supporting shares. Investors shrugged off the mixed lead overnight from Wall Street and concerns about rising U.S. bond yields.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 118.47 points or 0.54 percent to 22,206.51, off a high of 22,252.73 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is rising more than 1 percent, Panasonic is up almost 1 percent, Canon is higher by 0.4 percent and Sony is adding 0.3 percent on a weaker yen.

In the tech space, Advantest is declining 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron is edging up less than 0.1 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota and Honda are adding more than 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising more than 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by more than 1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is edging up less than 0.1 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the market’s best performers, Yamaha Corp. is rising more than 5 percent, Sony Financial Holdings is gaining more than 3 percent and Ube Industries is advancing almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, Sumitomo Metal Mining is losing almost 5 percent, Pacific Metals is down more than 4 percent and Toho Zinc is lower by more than 3 percent.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 0.5 percent on year in March. That was in line with expectations and down from the upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in February.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 108 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong are also higher, while South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Monday amid concerns about rising treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note nearing 3 percent. Traders seemed somewhat reluctant to make more significant moves, however, as a number of big-name companies are due to report their results in the coming days.

While the S&P 500 inched up 0.15 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,670.29, the Dow edged down 14.25 points or 0.1 percent to 24,448.69 and the Nasdaq fell 17.52 points or 0.3 percent to 7,128.60.

The major European markets moved to the upside on Monday. While the German DAX Index increased by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures rose Monday, rebounding to 4-year highs despite signs that Iran will nix the extension of OPEC’s supply quota plan with Russia. June WTI oil settled at $68.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $0.24 or nearly 0.4 percent.

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