(RTTNews.com) - Asian stock markets are exhibiting a mixed trend on Tuesday with investors mostly treading cautiously following a flat close on Wall Street overnight.
In the Australian market, mining stocks are trading firm, with upbeat production forecast from top miner BHP Billiton lifting sentiment to a notable extent. Information technology stocks are steady. Financial, energy, consumer discretionary and industrial stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is up 23.7 points or 0.4 percent at 5,375.5. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 5,374.5, up 23 points or 0.4 percent from its previous close.
Mining giant BHP Billiton (BHP) is trading 2.5 percent up following the company upgrading its iron ore production guidance for the fiscal year from 207 to 212 million tonnes after beating forecasts during the September quarter.
Rio Tinto (RIO) is trading is up 0.5 percent and Fortescue Metals is up 1.7 percent, while Newcrest Mining is trading weak, losing about 0.8 percent.
In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum is up 0.5 percent and Caltex Australia is trading 0.3 percent up, while Santos and Origin Energy are down 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
Oil Search is up marginally. The company said production in the three months to September was up 10 percent from the previous quarter to 1.78 million barrels of oil equivalent. However, operating revenue dropped 14 percent in the quarter from the previous quarter.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are up 0.4 to 0.6 percent, while Westpac (WBK) is up marginally. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is up 1.2 percent and Bank of Queensland is trading 0.5 percent up.
Lend Lease Group, Whitehaven Coal, Carsales.Com, Stockland, Ramsay Healthcare, Regis Resources and SP Ausnet are up 1.7 to 2.7 percent. Monadelphous Group, Insurance Australia Group, Primary Healthcare, Orica and Henderson Group are also trading notably higher.
Meanwhile, Qantas Airways, Westfield Retail Trust, Flight Centre, Sims Metal Management, Beach Energy and Bluescope Steel are trading weak, losing 1.3 to 3.3 percent.
David Jones is trading 1.5 percent down following the company's chief executive Paul Zahra's announcement that he would quit the firm for personal reasons.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened weak against the U.S. dollar. Around noon, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9649, down more than 0.2 percent from Monday's close of US$0.9673.
After a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, the Japanese stock market bounced back and was up marginally in positive territory by the end of the morning session.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which declined to 14,641.8, was up 5.2 points at 14,698.8 when the morning session ended.
Pioneer Corp. shares rose more than 5 percent. Nippon Light Metal Holdings surged up 3.3 percent. Yahoo Japan, NEC Corp., Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Ricoh Co. and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. gained 2 to 3 percent.
Ashai Kasei Corp. shares gained nearly 2 percent after the company reported an 83 percent jump in operating profit for the April to September period.
Sumco Corp., Nikon Corp., Unitika, Nippon Sheet Glass, Advantest Corp. ( ATE ), Marubeni Corp., Softbank Corp., Sony Corp. ( SNE ) and Pacific Metals also posted notable gains.
Mitsui Mining & Smelting shares are up following the company upgrading its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast.
Meanwhile, Yaskawa Electric, Fuji Electric, Amada Co., Nippon Yusen KK, Oji Holdings, Yusen KK, Tokyu Corp., Hino Motors, Fanuc Corp., Mitsui Chemicals and Kansai Electric Power are all trading weak, losing 1 to 3 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 98 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 98.28 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand and Singapore are up with notable gains and Malaysia and Taiwan are up marginally. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Indonesia are trading notably lower, while South Korea is trading flat.
On Wall Street, stocks ended roughly flat on Monday, after showing a lack of direction throughout the session, as traders appeared reluctant to make any significant moves following recent strong upward move. Traders seemed to be staying on the sidelines ahead of the release of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.
While the Dow dipped 7.5 points or 0.1 percent to 15,392.2, the Nasdaq rose 5.8 points or 0.2 percent to 3,920.1 and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 1,744.7.
Major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Monday. While the French CAC 40 index dipped by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index closed up 0.5 percent and the German DAX index ended just above the unchanged line.
U.S. crude oil ended sharply lower on Monday, on demand growth concerns after a delayed official weekly oil report from the Energy Information Administration showed crude oil stockpiles in the U.S. to have increased more than expected a week ago. Weak existing home sales data too contributed to oil's decline.
Crude for December delivery plummeted $1.43 or 1.4 percent to close at $99.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
For comments and feedback: contact email@example.com