By RTT News, September 15, 2013, 11:18:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Asian markets are mostly trading notably higher on Monday with investors picking up stocks amid hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve may not scale back its stimulus program soon, following US treasury secretary Larry Summers withdrawing from the race to succeed Ben Bernanke as the Fed chief.
In the Australian market, energy, mining, healthcare and industrial stocks are mostly trading higher. Property trusts, financial and consumer discretionary stocks are also trading firm.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which rose to 5,266.1, is currently trading at 5,251.2, up 31.6 points or 0.6 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 30.3 points or 0.6 percent at 5,245, off the day's high of 5259.6.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac are up 0.3 to 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank is trading higher by about 1.5 percent. Bank of Queensland is up with a modest gain and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is trading flat.
Top miners BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are up 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
Lynas Corp. is trading stronger by 6.2 percent despite reporting a wider full-year loss, after the miner set the ambitious goal of becoming one of the the world's leading rare earths suppliers. The company's full year loss widened to A$107.4 million for the 12 months to June 30, from A$102.6 million.
Newcrest Mining is up 5.2 percent. Iluka Resources and Bluescope Steel are up 4.4 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
Downer EDI, Atlas Iron, Sydney Airport, Oil Search, Seek, WorleyParsons, ALS, Henderson Group and Macquarie Group are up 2 to 3 percent.
Caltex Australia, Beach Energy, Oz Minerals, Fortescue Metals, Arrium and Orica are also trading sharply higher.
Meanwhile, Primary Healthcare and QBE Insurance Group are trading weak, losing 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher against the U.S. dollar. Around noon, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9336, up nearly a percent from Friday's close of US$0.9238.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan are trading sharply higher. New Zealand and South Korea are also trading firm, while Shanghai is down marginally. The Japanese market is closed for a holiday.
On Wall Street, stocks moved modestly higher on Friday, although buying interest remained relatively subdued as uncertainty about the outlook for next week's Federal Reserve meeting kept some traders on the sidelines.
The Dow rose 75.4 points or 0.5 percent to 15,376.1, the Nasdaq edged up 6.2 points or 0.2 percent to 3,722.2 and the S&P 500 climbed 4.6 points or 0.3 percent to 1,688.
Major European markets ended mixed on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index both moved up by 0.2 percent.
U.S. crude oil snapped a two-day gain to end lower on Friday, after some mixed economic data out of the U.S. fueled concerns of lower energy demand with speculations rife of an impending U.S. Federal Reserve move to scale down its quantitative easing program.
Crude for October delivery shed $0.39 or 0.4 percent to close at $108.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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