RTTNews - Asian markets are mostly trading in positive territory on Thursday with the overnight surge on Wall Street and renewed hopes of an economic revival prompting investors to go in for some selective buying. Though a few markets in the region are trading off their highs, only Singapore and Korea are currently seen trailing their previous closing levels. After initial buoyancy, the mood has turned a bit cautious in most of the markets as investors prepare for more news on the U.S. economy.

In the Australian market, a few materials stocks, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are trading with notable gains. Rio Tinto said the U.K. leg of a US$15.2 billion (A$18.78 billion) capital raising has been successful, with investors taking 96.97% of the new London listed shares on offer. Rio Tinto received valid acceptances for 508.58 million new Rio Tinto plc shares under a 21 for 40 right issues at 1400 pence per share. The take-up accounts for almost all of the 524.46 million shares available under the issue.

The miner is also offering its Australian investors the chance to take part in a 21 for 40 rights issue involving 150.02 million new Australian listed shares at A$28.29 each. The results of the Australian offer will be announced tomorrow.

Energy stocks are exhibiting some weakness. Utilities, telecom, technology and consumer discretionary stocks are trading mixed, while consumer staples and healthcare are mostly trading in positive territory.

According to the data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia's trade balance remained in deficit for the second straight month as exports continued to decline. It is widely felt that monthly deficits will continue as demand for imported goods keeps rising. The balance of goods and services was a deficit of A$556 million in May, seasonally adjusted, from a downwardly revised deficit of A$282 million in April.

In company news, Panoramic Resources Limited has announced that it has achieved record annual production from its operations after a very solid June quarter. The company said, despite the challenging financial market, Panoramic is well placed to achieve its 10 Year Plan with significant additional mine life, a strong balance sheet and a loyal and dedicated workforce. The stock is up by 3.6% at present.

The Australian benchmark index S&P/ASX 200 is currently trading at 3,890, up 16 points over its previous close. The All Ordinaries index is up nearly 14 points at 3,886.

In Tokyo, stock prices drifted lower after opening on a firm note due to lack of prominent triggers. However, on modest support at lower levels, the Nikkei, which had slipped to 9,904 in the morning session, has edged up into positive territory now. The bnchmark is currently trading at 9,953, up by a little over 13 points or 0.15%.

Riso Kyoiku Co. shares edged higher on reports the firm will likely raise its annual dividend by some 20 yen to around 105 yen in the year ending February.

A positive sales report from U.S. triggered some buying in major automotive shares including Toyota Motor and Honda Motor in early trades this morning. However, most of the stocks in the automobile space are trading off their highs at present due to lack of support.

Suzuki Motor is trading firm with a sharp gain on impressive India sales data. The firm's unit in India said its domestic sales rose 9.5% year on year to 61,773 units in June, bucking a globally sluggish sales trend.

Non-ferrous metals Sumitomo Metal Mining, Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Furukawa Electric, Fujikura and Toho Zinc are trading sharply higher. Machinery and electric machinery stocks are mostly trading in positive territory.

Bank, pharmaceuticals and real estate stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend. Insurance stocks are surging higher. Not much buying is seen in the communications space.

Shares of midsize printing company Kosaido edged higher following an announcement from the company that it is likely to break even on on operating basis for the April to June quarter. The company had logged a 787 million yen profit last year. The stock is currently trading nearly 3% higher than its previous close.

Bank shares Shinsei Bank and Aozora Bank are trending lower today following the two entities officially announcing plans to merge in October 2010. With investors rushing in to book profits to capitalize recent surge, the two stocks have declined sharply today.

Shares of retail major K's Holdings Corp. have risen sharply, gaining over 3%, on the back of reports that the company's net profit rose 40% on the year to 1.3 billion yen in the April-June quarter. The company said in May it will likely book a group net profit of 11.6 billion yen for the year ending March.

With traders trimming positions at higher levels, the Korean market is has given up early gains and is currently trading in negative territory. The Korean benchmark KOSPI, which fell to 1,403 after an initial surge to 1,419, is currently trading at 1,406, down by around 6 points from its previous close.

Bank and technology stocks are mostly trading firm. Automobile stocks are trading mixed. Energy stocks are exhibiting some weakness. Shipbuilders are also trading lower. Telecom and airlines stocks exhibit a mixed trend. Select steel stocks are surging higher.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong and Taiwan are trading with notable gains. Shanghai is also up with fairly sharp gains. Indonesia is trading modestly higher while New Zealand and Singapore are trading flat.

Wall Street ended with modest gains Wednesday amid low volumes. While the data on manufacturing activity and pending home sales fell in line with expectations and resulted in an early surge, weak employment and construction spending data hurt sentiment to an extent and wiped off some early gains.

The Dow closed up by 57.06 points at 8,504, the Nasdaq rose by 10.68 points to 1,846, and the S&P 500 advanced by 4.01 points to 923.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com