Russian-Ukrainian peace talks boost Asian markets
(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday following broadly positive signals from Wall Street overnight, extending momentum with support from tech and financial stocks amid reports of encouraging progress in ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey helped boost investor morale. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday.
Reuters reports that Russia’s deputy defense minister said Russia has decided to drastically reduce its military activities focused on Kyiv and Chernihiv. Ukrainian negotiators offered to adopt a neutral status in exchange for security guarantees.
Australia’s stock market is slightly higher on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous six sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rising above the 7,500 level, following broadly positive signals from Wall Street overnight, as as traders digest the federal pre-election. Budget. Reports on the progress of ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey also helped boost investor sentiment. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained 50.40 points or 0.68% to 7,514.70, after hitting a high of 7,533.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 52.10 points or 0.67% at 7,799.10. Australian stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday.
Among the major miners, OZ Minerals rose 0.2%, while BHP Group and Mineral Resources fell 0.1 to 0.4% each. Rio Tinto is flat. Fortescue Metals has entered a commercial pause, pending further announcement.
Oil inventories are mixed. Origin Energy adds over 1%, while Santos and Beach Energy drop 0.3% each. Woodside Petroleum is flat.
In the tech space, WiseTech Global is up almost 2%, Block is up over 6%, Appen is up 1.5%, Zip is up over 1%, and Xero is up over 4%.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank added nearly 1% each, while ANZ Banking rose 0.4%.
Among gold miners, Gold Road Resources is down more than 4% and Newcrest Mining is down 0.5%, while Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are down more than 1% each. Resolute Mining gains 1.5%
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is trading at $0.751 on Wednesday.
Japan’s stock market is significantly lower on Wednesday, giving up gains from the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,900 level, despite broadly positive signals from Wall Street overnight, amid concerns over the impact economic weaker yen combined with the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the ongoing pandemic.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed the morning session at 27,893.92, down 358.50 points or 1.27%, after hitting a low of 27,888.99 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday.
The SoftBank group, heavyweight in the market, gained nearly 2%, while the operator Uniqlo Fast Retailing lost nearly 1%. Among automakers, Honda is down almost 1% and Toyota is down more than 1%.
In the tech space, Screen Holdings is down 0.3%, while Advantest adds more than 2% and Tokyo Electron is down more than 1%.
In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial lost more than 3%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial lost 2.5% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial fell nearly 3%.
Among the main exporters, Mitsubishi Electric lost more than 2%, Canon fell 0.5% and Panasonic lost more than 1%, while Sony gained almost 1%.
Among the other big losers, Nippon Yusen, Inpex, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and Tokyo Gas lost more than 3% each, while KDDI, Daiwa Securities, Nippon Steel, Nintendo, Maruha Nichiro, Nippon Suisan Kaisha, JGC Holdings and Idemitsu Kosan were all down nearly 3% each.
Conversely, M3 and Shiseido each gain more than 3%, while Tokyo Electric Power gains nearly 3%.
In economic news, the total value of retail sales in Japan fell 0.8 percent year on year in February, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday, reaching 11.537 billion. yen. That missed expectations of a 0.3% loss after January’s downwardly revised 1.1% increase (originally 1.6%). On a monthly basis, retail sales fell another 0.8% after falling 0.9% the previous month.
In the currency market, the US dollar is trading in the upper range of 121 yen on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong gained 1.2%, while New Zealand, China, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan rose 0.2 to 0.9% each. On Wall Street, stocks closed on a strong note Tuesday, with tech stocks posting another strong performance. A slight easing of inflation concerns following a drop in crude oil prices and encouraging progress in ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey have helped lift the morale of the investors.
The major averages all ended in solid gains. The Dow closed with a gain of 338.30 points or 0.97% at 35,294.19. The S&P 500 closed up 56.08 points or 1.23% at 4,631.60, and the Nasdaq was at 14,619.64 with a gain of 264.73 points or 1.84%.
Major European markets also moved higher on the day. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.86%, Germany’s DAX jumped 2.79% and France’s CAC 40 gained 3.08%.
Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday amid easing concerns over global crude supply after positive reports on the peace talks. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for May ended down $1.72 or 1.6% at $104.24 a barrel.
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