RTTNews - Asian markets are trading mostly lower on Tuesday with the overnight fall on Wall Street on renewed concerns about the global economy forcing participants to take a cautious path. Some of the markets in the region did rebound after a sharp fall, but are seen struggling to hold at higher levels. Select stocks have moved higher on bargain hunting and short covering after the terrible setback they had suffered in the previous session, but the overall mood in the region is quite cautious today.
The Australian market bounced back into positive territory after a sharp plunge but has drifted lower again due to a lack of support at higher levels. The benchmark index S&P/ASX 200 is currently down in the red at 4,573, down 15 points, or 0.3%, from its previous close. The All Ordinaries index is trading lower by 21.8 points, or 0.5%, at 4,376.
Energy stocks are among the prominent losers. Financials, materials and healthcare stocks, which had rallied after a weak start, are seen drifting lower again on renewed selling. Select industrials are surging higher. Technology, utilities and consumer discretionary stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.
Health information technology company iSOFT Group Ltd expects to generate higher sales and profits in 2009/10. iSOFT booked a net profit for the 2008/09 financial year of A$35.09 million, up 143% on the prior year. Revenue for the 12 months to June 30, 2009 was up 50% at A$540.12 million. The iSOFT Group stock is currently up by around 5.5%.
In Tokyo, after a weak start, stocks surged higher taking cues from the Chinese market, which opened firm with investors indulging in bargain hunting in early trading.
The benchmark index Nikkei, which fell to 10,208 in early trading, rallied sharply thereafter and was up 38.8 points, or 0.38%, at 10,307 at the end of the morning session.
Pharmaceuticals stocks, Eisai, Shionogi, Chugai Pharmaceuticals and Kyowa Hakko Kirin were trading firm with notable gains.
Oil and coal industry stocks Nippon Oil, Nippon Mining Holdings and Showa Shell Sekkiyu K.K. declined. Steel, non-ferrous metals and machinery stocks opened weak, but had significantly trimmed down losses by the end of the morning session.
Automobile stocks recovered after an early fall. In the banking space, Shizuoka Bank, Chiba Bank, Bank of Yokohama and Chuo Mitsui Trust Holdings were trading firm.
Shares of IHI Corp. moved higher on reports that the firm and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. together have won an order worth approximately 40 billion yen from the Vietnamese government to build one of the world's longest cable bridges. The Sumitomo Mitsui Construction stock fared significantly better, gaining over 10% on its previous close.
Chubu Electric Power was trading modestly higher despite the firm's announcement on Monday that it will idle a nuclear power plant for up to one month due to the recent earthquake.
Jupiter Telecommunications Co. shares rebounded moderately, after the cable television network operator said Monday evening that the number of cable TV subscribers rose 15% on the year to 2.58 million households at the end of July.
Casio Computer Co. shares bounced back after Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd. in a Monday report raised its investment rating on the digital watchmaker two notches to the highest on the brokerage's three-grade scale.
In the currency market, in early trading this morning, the U.S. dollar fetched 94.40-45 yen against Monday's close of 94.45-55 yen in New York and 94.65-68 yen in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 94.92 to the U.S. dollar.
The Korean market rebounded sharply after a weak start but has pared most of the gains now due to selling at higher levels. The benchmark index KOSPI, which fell to 1,533 in early trading this morning but rallied to 1,561 subsequently, is currently up with a gain of 2 points 1,549.
Technology stocks Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics are up sharply over their previous closing prices. LG Display LCD is trading modestly higher, while LG Electronics is down with modest loss.
Among automobile stocks, Hyundai Motor is trading firm while Ssangyong Motor and Kia Motor are exhibiting weakness.
In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank is up by about 1%. Woori Finance, Shinhan Financial and KB Financial are trading in the red with modest losses.
Steel, energy and shipbuilding stocks are trading mixed, while telecom stocks are up with notable gains.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia has plunged sharply with its benchmark index Jakarta Composite Average losing as much as 3.4%. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan are also down in the red with sharp losses. The New Zealand and Singapore markets are also trading lower. Stock markets across the region had finished considerably lower on Monday.
U.S. stocks saw a sharp pullback on Monday, as last week's disappointing data on the health of the consumer sparked a broad-based sell-off in equities. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that showed conditions for New York manufacturers improved for the first time in well over a year in the month of August, and a release from the National Association of Home Builders that showed a rise in homebuilder confidence helped arrest the slide to an extent.
The Dow closed down by 186 points, or 2%, at 9,135, the Nasdaq drifted down by 54.7 points, or 2.8%, to 1,931 and the S&P 500 slipped by 24.4 points, or 2.4%, to 980.
Major European markets also closed notably lower, with the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index falling by 2% and 2.1% respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped by 1.5%.
Crude oil finished lower again on Monday, as lower global equities raised concerns about energy demand. Oil was also hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar, although it ended the session off its lows of the day. Light sweet crude plunged to US$66.75 per barrel, down 76 cents on the session, extending the sharp drop seen on Friday. Prices fell as low as US$65.23 a barrel earlier in the session.
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