Asian Markets In Positive Territory

(RTTNews) - Asian stock markets are in positive territory on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session following the overnight rally on Wall Street amid optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and as fears of a global economic slowdown eased on upbeat upbeat manufacturing data from the world's two largest economies.

The Australian market is advancing, with tech and oil stocks among the leading gainers.

Investors now look ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision due later in the day. The RBA is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at the record low of 1.50 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 43.50 points or 0.70 percent to 6,260.50, after touching a high of 6,266.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 43.00 points or 0.68 percent to 6,342.70. Australian stocks closed notably higher on Monday.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay Touch Group, Altium and Appen are all gaining almost 4 percent each, while Xero is rising almost 3 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher after crude oil prices rose more than 2 percent overnight. Santos is rising 0.6 percent, Woodside Petroleum is adding almost 1 percent and Oil Search is advancing almost 2 percent.

In the mining sector, BHP Group is advancing almost 1 percent and Rio Tinto is adding 0.4 percent. Fortescue Metals is gaining almost 5 percent after it won approval for its $2.6 billion Iron Bridge magnetite project.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac - are up in a range of 0.4 percent to 1.2 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are weak after gold prices declined overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is down almost 1 percent.

Former Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev, who left the bank a year ago, has been appointed chief operating officer of online jobs advertiser Seek. Shares of Seek are advancing more than 1 percent.

Incitec Pivot is closing a Victorian phosphate factory at the cost of A$13 million and has also projected another A$20 million hit to its earnings from lower sales due to dry weather across the eastern states. The chemicals and fertilizer manufacturer's shares are losing almost 2 percent.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total number of building approvals in Australia jumped a seasonally adjusted 19.1 percent on month in February, coming in at 17,074. That was way above forecasts for a fall of 1.8 percent following the 2.5 percent gain in January.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Tuesday ahead of the RBA's rate decision. The local currency was quoted at $0.7109, down from $0.7125 on Monday.

The Japanese market is rising. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 111.41 points or 0.52 percent to 21,620.44, after touching a high of 21,744.64 in early trades. Japanese stocks closed higher on Monday, but off the day's highs.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric is gaining more than 2 percent, Panasonic is rising more than 1 percent, Canon is higher by 0.4 percent and Sony is unchanged.

In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by more than 2 percent. Among the major automakers, Honda is advancing more than 1 percent and Toyota is adding almost 1 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising more than 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by almost 2 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is adding almost 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum is declining more than 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Toho Zinc is rising more than 6 percent and Sumco Corp. is higher by almost 5 percent.

On the flip side, Rakuten is losing more than 5 percent, Cyberagent is lower by almost 4 percent and Tokyo Electric Power is declining more than 3 percent.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that the monetary base in Japan was up 3.8 percent on year in March, coming in at 494.202 trillion yen. That follows the 4.6 percent gain in February.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 111 yen-range on Tuesday.

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

On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Monday, reflecting continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks as well as a positive reaction to upbeat U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data. Traders largely shrugged off a Commerce Department report showing an unexpected decrease in U.S. retail sales in February, as the report also showed a significant upward revision to the increase in sales in the previous month.

The Dow jumped 329.74 points or 1.3 percent to 26,258.42, the Nasdaq soared 99.59 points or 1.3 percent to 7,828.91 and the S&P 500 surged up 32.79 points or 1.2 percent to 2,867.19.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Monday. While the German DAX Index surged up by 1.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, as worries about global energy demand eased after data showed a notable improvement in manufacturing activity in the world's second largest economy. WTI crude for May ended up $1.45 or 2.4 percent at $61.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest level in nearly five months.

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