Amid cautious trading, most of the markets in the Asia-Pacific region have edged up after a fall from higher levels on Wednesday. Cues from Wall Street are not any significantly positive and investors are mostly seen pressing sales at higher levels today.
The Australian market opened higher following the Federal Budget boosting infrastructure investment, but has slipped into the red due to heavy selling in energy, materials, utilities and some financials stocks. Healthcare and information technology stocks are trading higher. The S&P/ASX 200 index is currently down by 24.80 points at 3,852. The All Ordinaries index is down 24 points at 3,340.
Energy stock Santos is down nearly 15% after the company announced the successful completion of the A$1.75 billion institutional component of the accelerated non-renouncable pro rata entitlement offer. Among other stocks in the energy space, Worleyparsons is down by 2.3% while Woodside Petroleum is up by around 0.5%.
Materials stocks Rio Tinto is down by over 3.5%. Newcrest is trading 2% up. From the banking space, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Bank of Australia are trading sharply lower.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index is down by 2.18 points at 2,810.52. The index had moved on to 2,824.80 after opening at 2,812.70 this morning.
The Nikkei 225 index of the Japanese stock market, which recovered after a fall from higher levels, was up 9.55 points at 9,308 at the end of the morning session.
Automobile, bank and real estate stocks were trading higher in Tokyo. Chemicals, foods and pharmaceuticals stocks also attracted attention. Steel stocks exhibited a mixed trend.
In Korea, the KOSPI benchmark, which has recovered after a fall, is currently trading 3.39 points up at 1,407.
Steel stocks are trading higher. Automobile and bank stocks are seen struggling for support. Shipbuilders are losing ground and technology and oil stocks are also trading weak.
Among other markets, Taiwan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore are trading higher with their benchmarks gaining 0.4% - 1.6%.
Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. While Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.4 percent, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index fell 1.6 percent.
The major European markets all ended the day in the red after seeing some choppy trading. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index closed down 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
On Wall Street, stocks rebounded to an extent and closed on a mixed note on Tuesday after spending a major part of the session in negative territory. After showing some signs of a recovery, financials lost out for the second successive session.
The major averages ended the session mixed, with the Dow posting a moderate gain. While the Dow closed up 50.34 points or 0.6 percent at 8,469.11, the Nasdaq fell 15.32 points or 0.9 percent to 1,715.92 and the S&P 500 closed down 0.89 points or 0.1 percent at 908.35.
June crude oil contracts opened the pit trade at session highs. After trading below the flat line and hitting session lows of $57.81 per barrel in the afternoon, the contracts closed in positive territory at $58.85 per barrel, up 0.6%.
On Wednesday, traders are also likely to keep an eye on monthly reports on import and export prices and business inventories as well as the weekly crude oil inventories report.
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