Asian Markets In Positive Territory


Asian stock markets are in positive territory on Tuesday following the overnight rebound on Wall Street amid optimism that global central banks will take action to offset the impact of the coronavirus on global economic growth.


Investors are also looking ahead to a teleconference call of the G-7 group of financial ministers and central bankers later today for coordinated policy action in response to the coronavirus. The global death toll from the virus has now risen to more than 3,000.


The Australian market is rebounding from the sharp losses in previous sessions. The Reserve Bank of Australia will wrap up its monetary policy meeting later today and then announce its decision on interest rates. Investors are optimistic the central bank will cut its benchmark lending rate today.


The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 122.70 points or 1.92 percent to 6,514.20 and the broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 128.10 points or 1.98 percent to 6,589.20. Australian stocks fell for a seventh day on Monday.


Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is rising more than 4 percent, Rio Tinto is gaining 4 percent and BHP is advancing almost 3 percent.


Gold miners are higher after safe-haven gold prices rose sharply overnight. Evolution Mining is rising almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.6 percent.


In the banking space, Westpac, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank are advancing in a range of 1.0 percent to 1.6 percent.


Oil stocks are mostly lower despite a more than 4 percent surge in crude oil prices overnight. Santos is declining almost 1 percent and Oil Search is down 0.5 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.7 percent.


On the economic front, Australia will also see January figures for building approvals and fourth-quarter data for current account.


In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6539, compared to $0.6527 on Monday.


The Japanese market is extending gains from the previous session.


The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 204.56 points or 0.96 percent to 21,548.64, after touching a high of 21,719.78 in early trades. Japanese stocks reversed early losses to end sharply higher on Monday.


Market heavyweight SoftBank is higher by more than 1 percent and Fast Retailing is advancing almost 1 percent. In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is up 0.5 percent.


The major exporters are higher despite a stronger safe-haven yen. Sony and Canon are rising more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 1 percent and Panasonic is up 0.1 percent.


Among auto stocks, Honda Motor and Toyota Motor are higher by more than 1 percent each. In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent and Inpex is adding almost 1 percent after crude oil prices gained more than 4 percent overnight.


Among the other major gainers, Comsys Holdings is rising more than 2 percent and Sony Financial is advancing almost 2 percent.


On the flip side, Cyberagent and Keisei Electric are losing more than 2 percent each.


In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that the monetary base in Japan was up 3.6 percent on year in February, coming in at 510.631 trillion yen. That follows the 2.9 percent increase in January.


Japan will also see February figures its consumer confidence index today.


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


Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand is gaining almost 3 percent and South Korea is rising almost 2 percent. Shanghai, Indonesia and Taiwan are higher by more than 1 percent each. Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are also advancing.


On Wall Street, stocks rebounded on Monday partly due to bargain hunting, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the sell-off seen in recent sessions. Traders also seemed optimistic about central banks around the world taking action to counteract the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. Last Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will "act as appropriate to support the economy" amid the evolving risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak.


The Dow skyrocketed 1,293.96 points or 5.1 percent to 26,703.32, the Nasdaq soared 384.80 points or 4.5 percent to 8,952.16 and the S&P 500 spiked 136.01 points or 4.6 percent to 3,090.23.


The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Monday. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index surged up by 1.1 percent.


Crude oil prices rallied sharply on Monday as traders created fresh positions, betting on hopes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will significantly cut crude production. WTI crude for April surged $1.99 or about 4.5 percent to $46.75 a barrel.

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