Mixed trading is being witnessed among the major markets across the Asia-Pacific region on Tuesday. While the markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, having opened after four days of holidays, are trading in positive territory, markets in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, which were not closed for holidays, are trading in negative territory on profit taking.
Financial stocks are moving to the upside after Goldman Sachs reported better-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended March 31st after the U.S. markets closed overnight. Ahead of Goldman's results, the major U.S. indices closed mixed as investors preferred to take profits amid some uncertainty about the impending earnings season.
The Dow closed down 25.57 points or 0.3% at 8,058, while the Nasdaq closed up 0.77 points or 0.1% at 1,653 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.17 points or 0.3% at 859.
In Asian trading, crude oil is currently down $0.17 at $49.88 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery dropped $2.19 to $50.05 a barrel on Monday after the International Energy Agency lowered its projection of global demand for this year. Demand worries also heated up amid concern over upcoming earnings reports.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index, having opened higher at 8,956 compared to its previous close of 8,924, is currently trading at 8,801, down 123.19 points, and the broader Topix index of all First Section Issues is losing 10.59 points to 838.
Property related stocks are trading lower after Sumitomo Realty & Development reported lower-than-expected earnings, primarily due to increased writedowns. The stock is down 6.34%. Among the other property related stocks, Mitsubishi Estate is losing 3.43%, Mitsui Fudosan is losing 3.81% and Tokyu Land Corp is falling 6.91%.
Mixed trading is witnessed among exporters. While Canon is losing 3.13% and Sony is edging down 0.20%, Sharp is advancing 1.53%. Trading houses are showing weakness on profit taking. Mitsubishi Corp. is losing 0.93%, Sumitomo Corp. is falling 3.12% and Itochu is down 1.57%.
Automakers are trading weak following the news that the US Treasury Department is directing General Motors (GM) to prepare for a bankruptcy filing by a June 1st deadline. Honda Motor is falling 3.71%, Isuzu Motors is down 4.24% and Toyota Motor is losing 3.30%.
Financial stocks are also receding on profit taking. Mitsubishi UFJ is losing 0.94%, Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.51%, Resona Holdings is falling 1.60%, and Sumitomo Mitsui is shedding 0.66%.
Oil stocks are trading mixed. While Inpex is losing 0.69% and Showa Shell is down 0.66%, Nippon Oil is advancing 1.36%.
In Sydney, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is gaining 97.8 points to 3,769, and the broader All Ordinaries index is up 95.5 points to 3,713.
On the economic front, results of the latest survey of the National Australia Bank revealed that Business confidence in the country improved in March, with the index rising to minus 13 from minus 22 in February. A reading below zero indicates pessimists outnumber optimists. The index of business confidence increased 3 points to minus 17, but remained at a low level not seen since 1992.
Among banking stocks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia is up 3.88%, ANZ Banking Group is gaining 4.33%, and National Australia Bank is adding 3.43%. Westpac is rising 3.70%, and investment bank Macquarie Group is surging 7.17%.
In the resources sector, index leader BHP Billiton is adding 1.73%, and Rio Tinto is gaining 4.09%. Gold miners are gaining ground after gold closed higher on Monday. Lihir Gold is unchanged, Sino Gold is edging up 0.59%, and Newcrest Mining is gaining 2.85%.
Among energy stocks, Woodside is rising 1.68%, Oil Search is gaining 1.50%, and Santos is adding 2.83%.
In the retail sector, David Jones is gaining 3.34%, and Coles' owner Wesfarmers is adding 1.47%, while Woolworths is edging down 0.12%.
Qantas Airways is dropping nearly 8% after it slashed full-year profit forecasts as well as flagged further 1,500 jobs cuts and capacity reduction, in the face of rapidly deteriorating trading conditions.
In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI Index opened at 1,353, sharply higher than its previous close of 1,338, and is currently trading at 1,337, down 1.53 points, or 0.11%.
On economic front, a report released by the Ministry of Justice revealed that the number of foreign visitors who arrived in South Korea in the first quarter rose by more than 25% over the same period to top 2 million.
Financials are trading mixed. While KB Financial Group is losing 1.02%, Shinhan Financial is gaining 0.50% and Woori Finance is advancing 3.50%.
Technology stocks are mostly higher. Hynix Semiconductor is gaining 3.63%, LG Electronics is adding 0.51%, and LG Display is advancing 0.63%. However, market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is falling 1.20%.
Among the shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries is losing 0.71%, but Daewoo Shipping is adding 0.66% and Samsung Heavy Industries is edging up 0.99%.
In the auto space, Hyundai Motor is gaining 0.30%, and Kia Motor is adding 0.50%. However, Ssangyong Motor is losing 1.92% on profit taking.
Oil related stocks are also trading mixed. S-Oil is gaining 0.41% but SK Holdings is losing 1.12%.
In Hong Kong, The benchmark Hang Seng Index opened strongly 15,302, compared to its previous close of 14,902, and is presently trading at 15,320, up 418.70 points, or 2.81%.
Bank stocks are the major gainers. HSBC Holdings is gaining 3.83%, Hang Seng Bank is adding 1.02%, Bank of Communications is advancing 4.28%, Bank of China is rising 5.32% and Bank of East Asia is surging up 7.88%. BOC Hong Kong is up more than 8.84%. Other banks are also trading in positive territory.
Insurance stocks are also advancing. Ping An is gaining 1.24% and China Life is adding 1.25%.
Among property stocks, Henderson Land is gaining 5.05%, Wharf Holdings is edging up 2.08%, SHK Properties is adding 2.44%, New World Development is rising 4.57% and Sino Land is advancing 3.93%.
Resource stocks are trading higher. Aluminum Corporation of China, or CHALCO, is soaring 9.06%, CNOOC is gaining 6.75% and PetroChina is adding 3.21%.
China-related stocks are also advancing. China Resources is adding 2.06%, China Mercantile Holdings is gaining 6.41% and China Overseas is moving up 1.52%.
Among the other major markets, China's Shanghai Composite Index is trading at 2,511, down 0.11% or 2.87 points, and Singapore's Strait Times Index is losing 9.24 points, or 0.49% to 1,868. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index is gaining 18.56 points, or 1.21% to 1,559 and Taiwan's Weighted Index is advancing 11.49 points, or 0.20% to 5,869.
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