Asian Markets Mostly Higher On Renewed U.S. Stimulus Optimism

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(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday on renewed optimism about U.S. fiscal stimulus following news that the Trump administration and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have made progress in negotiations.

Reports that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine could be available for emergency use in December if it gets positive results from the interim trial in November also aided sentiment.

The Australian market is advancing. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 18.20 points or 0.29 percent to 6,202.80, after touching high of 6,206.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 14.00 points or 0.22 percent to 6,410.80. Australian stocks closed lower on Tuesday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is advancing more than 1 percent, BHP Group is adding almost 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is up 0.1 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking is rising almost 2 percent, National Australia Bank is higher by more than 1 percent, Commonwealth Bank is up 0.6 percent and Westpac is adding 0.5 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher after crude oil prices rebounded overnight. Oil Search is rising more than 3 percent, while Santos and Woodside Petroleum are advancing more than 2 percent each.

Meanwhile, gold miners are weak even as gold prices edged higher overnight. Evolution Mining is declining more than 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is down 0.7 percent.

Shares of Temple & Webster Group are losing almost 14 percent even as the online furniture trader said in a trading update that its year-to-date revenue surged 138 percent and first-quarter EBITDA was more than the EBITDA for the previous financial year.

In economic news, Australia will see September figures for the leading economic index from Westpac Bank today.

The Japanese market is also rising.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 70.46 points or 0.30 percent to 23,637.50, after touching a high of 23,702.30 earlier. Japanese stocks lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is down 0.6 percent and Fast Retailing is declining more than 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major exporters are higher despite a stronger yen. Canon is rising more than 3 percent, Panasonic is higher by more than 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 1 percent and Sony is adding 0.4 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are advancing more than 1 percent each. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are rising almost 2 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is lower by more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.5 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Takara Holdings is gaining more than 7 percent, while Japan Steel Works, NSK and IHI Corp. are rising more than 5 percent each.

Conversely, Olympus is losing more than 2 percent and Toho Co. is lower by almost 2 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 105 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also higher, while Shanghai, New Zealand and Malaysia are lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly higher on Tuesday as investors continued to hope the lawmakers will eventually agree on a stimulus plan sometime soon. Stronger than expected earnings reports from Procter & Gamble and Travelers Companies Inc. contributed as well to the firm trend in the market. Reports that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine could be available for emergency use in December if it gets positive results from the interim trial in November further aided sentiment.

The Dow, which was up more than 300 points at one stage, ended with a gain of 113.37 points or 0.4 percent at 28,308.79, while the Nasdaq climbed 37.61 points or 0.33 percent to close at 11,516.49 and the S&P 500 advanced 16.20 points or 0.47 percent to 3,443.12.

The major European markets ended mostly lower on Tuesday. Germany’s DAX shed 0.92 percent and France’s CAC 40 ended down 0.27 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.08 percent.

Crude oil futures closed notably higher on Tuesday despite lingering concerns about outlook for energy demand. WTI crude for November expired at $41.46 a barrel, gaining $0.63 or about 1.5 percent in the session.

Bastion Balance Seoul, Korea.