(RTTNews.com) - Asian stock markets are trading firm on Friday, with investors indulging in some hectic buying, tracking cues from Wall Street where the major averages ended on a high note overnight amid optimism U.S. politicians are moving towards a deal to prevent the country hitting its debt ceiling.
In the Australian market, financial, consumer discretionary, mining, industrial, healthcare and property trusts are mostly up with strong gains.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which rose to 5,239.6, is currently trading at 5,230, up 82.9 points or 1.6 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 81.1 points or 1.6 percent at 5,227.3.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are up 2.2 to 2.8 percent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank up 0.8 percent, while Bank of Queensland is trading weak, losing about 0.4 percent.
Westpac said it has agreed to buy U.K.-based Lloyds Banking Group Plc's (LLOY.L, LYG) Australian assets for A$1.45 billion.
Among the top miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) is up 1.3 percent, Rio Tinto (RIO) is trading 2 percent higher and Fortescue Metals is up 1.5 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down marginally.
Qantas Airways, ALS, Myer Holdings, Henderson Group, Arrium, Downer EDI, Seek and Ramsay Healthcare are trading higher by 3 to 4 percent. UGL, Challenger and Flight Centre are up nearly 3 percent. James Hardie Industries, PanAust, Leighton Holdings, Adelaide Brighton, Perpetual and GPT Group are also up sharply.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9458, up 0.5 percent from Thursday's close of US$0.9408.
The Japanese market rose sharply, with several stocks from across various sectors surging higher on hectic buying on the back of a positive lead from Wall Street. The yen's slide against the dollar too contributed to the upbeat mood.
Automobile, banking, steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and construction stocks moved up shaprly. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 186.4 points or 1.3 percent at 14,381.1 when the morning session ended.
Yokohama Rubber, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing, Hokuetsu Kishu Paper, Matsui Securities and Nikon Corp. gained 4 to 6 percent.
Fujitsu, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Nissan Chemical Industries, Pacific Metals, Trend Micro, Fujifilm Holdings, J Front Retailing and Credit Saison, Casio Computer and Toyo Seikan Group all moved up by over 3 percent.
Among bank stocks, Shizuoka Bank, Chiba Bank, Bank of Yokohama, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU), Mizuho Financial ( MFG ) and SMFG gained 2 to 4 percent. Aozora Bank and Shinsei Bank also rose sharply.
In the automobile space, Isuzu Motors, Hino Motors, Mazda Motor, Suzuki Motor and Mitsubishi Motors advanced 2 to 4 percent, while Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Toyota Motor (TM) posted modest gains.
Canon Inc. ( CAJ ) opened lower on a likely fall in operating profit for the January-September 2013 period, but recovered subsequently.
Among the losers, Fast Retailing was down 4.8 percent following the company forecasting lower earnings for financial year 2013. Sharp Corp. and Sony Financial Holdings were down by over 1.5 percent. Yahoo Japan, KDDI Corp. and Oki Electric Industry were down 0.5 to 1 percent at the break.
On the economic front, the index measuring corporate service prices in Japan was up 0.3 percent at 102.7 in September, compared to the previous month, the Bank of Japan said Friday. That topped forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent following the downwardly revised 0.2 percent gain in August (originally 0.3 percent).
On a yearly basis, prices were up 2.3 percent, matching expectations and unchanged from the previous month after a downward revision from 2.4 percent.
Export prices were flat on month and down 2.1 percent on year, the data showed, while import prices added 1.2 percent on month and dipped an annual 1.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the M2 money stock in Japan was up 3.8 percent on year in September, at 850.8 trillion yen. That matches forecasts and is unchanged from the August reading following an upward revision from 3.7 percent.
The M3 money stock was up 3.1 percent on year to 1,161.0 trillion yen - beating forecasts for 3.0 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month. The L money stock added an annual 3.7 percent to 1,512.4 trillion yen, acceleration from the 3.6 percent gain in August.
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 98.48 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea are trading notably higher, with their benchmark indices gaining more than a percent each. Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan are also trading firm.
On Wall Street, stocks moved higher on Thursday amid optimism about an end to the budget deadlock in Washington following the Republican leadership proposing a legislation to temporarily raise the nation's debt limit in order to avoid a default and allow time for negotiations.
The major averages closed at or near their highs for the session. The Dow jumped 323.1 points or 2.2 percent to 15,126.1, the Nasdaq soared 83 points or 2.3 percent to 3,760.8 and the S&P 500 surged up 36.2 points or 2.2 percent to 1,692.6.
Major European markets too ended notably higher. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index advanced by 1.5 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index jumped by 2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil jumped to end higher on Thursday on supply concerns, after developments in Libya and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lifting its global oil demand forecast. Crude for November delivery ended up $1.40 or 1.4 percent to close at $103.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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