Asian Markets Mostly Higher

(RTTNews) - Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Tuesday with modest gains in the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street, which was closed overnight for a holiday. Gains in the major European markets overnight following the results of EU parliamentary elections helped boost sentiment.

Trade issues also remained in investors' focus after President Donald Trump said that the U.S. was "not ready" to make a trade deal with China and is working to reduce its trade deficit with Japan. Trump is currently in Japan on a four-day state visit.

The Australian market is advancing, with stocks mostly higher across the board. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 36.70 points or 0.57 percent to 6,488.60, after rising to a high of 6,490.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 37.00 points or 0.57 percent to 6,581.80. The Australian market closed marginally lower on Monday.

The major miners are higher for a second straight day, buoyed by higher iron ore prices. Rio Tinto is gaining more than 3 percent, Fortescue Metals is rising more than 2 percent and BHP Group is advancing almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher after crude oil prices rose in Asian trades Tuesday. Santos is advancing more than 1 percent, Woodside Petroleum is adding almost 1 percent and Oil Search is up 0.6 percent.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac - are rising in a range of 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are weak. Evolution Mining is down 0.4 percent and Newcrest Mining is lower by 0.3 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6925, up from $0.6833 on Monday.

The Japanese market is rising for a second straight day. At a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, Trump avoided remarks that could increase tensions about U.S. trade issues with Japan and instead, praised the strong bilateral ties between the two countries, boosting investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 62.77 points or 0.30 percent to 21,245.35, after rising to a high of 21,297.70 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly higher on Monday.

The major exporters are higher. Mitsubishi Electric is higher by more than 1 percent, Panasonic is advancing almost 1 percent, Canon is adding 0.4 percent and Sony is up 0.3 percent.

Index heavyweight Softbank is adding 0.4 percent, while Fanuc is advancing almost 1 percent and Fast Retailing is up 0.2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Advantest is lower by 0.3 percent, while Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 3 percent. In the auto space, Honda is adding 0.5 percent and Toyota is rising 0.4 percent.

Among the major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by 0.7 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.6 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is declining 0.6 percent and Japan Petroleum is down 0.3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Chiyoda Corp is rising more than 4 percent and Mitsubishi Motors is higher by almost 4 percent.

On the flip side, Maruha Nichiro, Hitachi Zosen and Taiheiyo Cement are all lower by more than 2 percent each.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 0.9 percent on year in April. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 1.1 percent on year, which would have been unchanged from the March reading.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 109 yen-range on Tuesday.

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

Overnight, the U.S. stock markets were closed for the Memorial Day holiday.

The major European markets ended mostly higher on Monday, with investors largely reacting positively to results of EU parliamentary elections. Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 moved up by 0.5 percent and 0.37 percent, respectively, while the U.K. market was closed for the Spring Bank Holiday.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.