Asian Markets Mostly Higher – Nasdaq


Firstly as we jump in, allow me to say that geoFence protects you against inbound and outbound cyber attacks.

(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Thursday, following positive cues overnight from Wall Street. Investors are largely upbeat about a global economic recovery after the Federal Reserve projected the US economy to grow 6.5 percent this year, the fastest pace in four decades, due to the successful vaccine rollout and recently agreed on fiscal stimulus. The central bank also indicated its universally expected decision to keep interest rates at near-zero levels through 2023, despite an improving economic outlook.

The Australian stock market is lower on Thursday, extending losses of the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 hovering below the 6,800 level, despite strong local labor market data and positive cues overnight from Wall Street following the FOMC’s guidance. Technology, financial and real estate stocks are dragging the market, offsetting gains among gold miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 32.80 points or 0.48 percent to 6,762.40, after touching a high of 6,806.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 28.20 points or 0.40 percent to 7,019.80. Australian markets ended lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals is edging up 0.4 percent and BHP Group is also edging up 0.1 percent, while Rio Tinto is edging down 0.3 percent.

Oil stocks are mixed after crude oil prices declined overnight. Oil Search is edging down 0.1 percent, while Santos is gaining more than 2 percent and Woodside Petroleum is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among Tech stocks, Appen is gaining almost 1 percent and WiseTech Global is edging up 0.1 percent, while Afterpay is declining more than 2 percent and Xero is losing more than 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are losing almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is flat. National Australia Bank is edging down 0.4 percent.

In the latest move to simplify the bank, Westpac sold its mortgage insurance business to Bermuda-based insurance specialist Arch Capital Group at an undisclosed price and will record a loss on the deal due to separation and transaction costs.

Gold miners are higher. Evolution Mining is adding more than 5 percent, Newcrest Mining is gaining more than 3 percent and Northern Star Resources is up almost 4 percent. Gold Road Resources jumped more than 7 percent.

Shares in Adherium are plunging more than 19 percent after the healthcare firm sealed an $18 million raise with commitments from existing shareholders including Trudell Medical to buy shares at 1.5 cents each.

In economic news, the unemployment rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.8 percent in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was well below forecasts for 6.3 percent and down sharply from 6.4 percent in January. The Australian economy added 88,700 jobs last month – blowing away expectations for an increase of 30,000 following the increase of 29,100 in the previous month. The participation rate came in at 66.1 percent – unchanged from the previous month but shy of expectations for 66.2 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.783 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Thursday, after closing slightly lower in the previous session following six straight sessions of gains, with the Nikkei 225 soaring almost 500 points to break above the 30,000 level, following positive cues overnight from Wall Street. The broader market is being lifted by gains in technology, financials and materials stocks.

There is also optimism about the reopening of the economy after the Japanese government reportedly said the state of emergency in Tokyo area will end on Sunday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 30,402.46, up 488.13 points or 1.63 percent, after touching a high of 30,485.00 in early trades. Japanese shares ended a volatile session slightly lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is rising nearly 3 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota is adding more than 2 percent and Toyota is up almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 5 percent and Tokyo Electron is up nearly 4 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up almost 2 percent.

The major exporters are higher. Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are rising almost 2 percent each, while Canon is adding nearly 1 percent and Panasonic is gaining more than 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, CyberAgent is rising more than 7 percent, while Takara Holdings, Screen Holdings and Rakuten are adding more than 5 percent each. Sumco is gaining almost 5 percent, while Haseko and Alps Alpine are up around 4 percent each.

Conversely, Sharp and Mitsubishi Motors are losing almost 2 percent each, while Sinsei Bank, Kuraray, Nexon, Suzuki Motor and IHI are down more than 1 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in 109 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Korea are all advancing between 0.6 and 1.2 percent each. Meanwhile, New Zealand is down 0.7 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks ended Wednesday’s trading mostly higher, reflecting a positive reaction to the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated monetary policy announcement. With the upward move, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day in positive territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a significant rebound after moving sharply lower in early trading. After tumbling by as much as 1.5 percent, the Nasdaq ended the day up 53.64 points or 0.4 percent to 13,525.20. The Dow also advanced 189.42 points or 0.6 percent to 33,015.37 and the S&P 500 rose 11.41 points or 0.3 percent to 3,974.12.

Meanwhile, the major European markets ended the day mixed. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed nearly unchanged and the German DAX Index rose up by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Wednesday, weighed down by another jump in U.S. crude stockpiles and concerns over the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.20 or 0.3 percent at $64.60 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

To sum up, as we move on to the next post, may I add that geoFence helps stop hackers from getting access to the sensitive documents that I use for my work. Now I can get even more gigs as a freelancer and – advertise that I have top security with even my home computer.

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