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Asian Markets Mixed In Cautious Trades

(RTTNews) - Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Monday, following the lack of major cues from Wall Street on Friday, as the proposed relaxation of COVID-19 lockdowns in China and China's latest measure to bolster its economy injected a note of optimism. Meanwhile, concerns remain about growth outlook against a backdrop of persistent inflation, looming interest rate hikes and the Ukraine war. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Friday. The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 below the 7,200 level, following the lack of major cues from Wall Street on Friday, with gains in materials and energy stocks amid higher Iron ore and crude oil prices. The markets are also reacting positively to the results of the Federal elections on Saturday. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 5.10 points or 0.07 percent to 7,150.70, after touching a high of 7,196.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 11.30 points or 0.15 percent to 7,402.30. Australian stocks closed sharply higher on Friday. Among the major miners, BHP Group is gaining more than 1 percent, Mineral Resources is adding almost 3 percent, Rio Tinto is edging up 0.5 percent and Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 3 percent. OZ Minerals is flat. Oil stocks are higher, Origin Energy and Beach energy are adding more than 1 percent each, while Santos is edging up 0.5 percent and Woodside Petroleum is gaining almost 1 percent. Among tech stocks, Xero is gaining almost 1 percent and Appen is adding almost 2 percent, while Afterpay owner Block is declining more than 4 percent and Zip is down more than 3 percent and WiseTech Global is edging down 0.5 percent Gold miners are higher. Gold Road Resources, Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is adding almost 1 percent and Resolute Mining gaining almost 5 percent. Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are flat, while National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging down 0.3 to 0.5 percent each. In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.709 on Monday. The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 staying below the 26,900 level, following the lack of major cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders welcome the potential relaxation of border controls after scrapping COVID-19 tests for arrivals and some easing of mask guidelines. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,872.01, up 132.98 or 0.50 percent, after touching a high of 27,047.47 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Friday. Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.4 percent, while Toyota is edging up 0.3 percent. In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.3 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding almost 1 percent and Screen Holdings is flat. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, while Mizuho Financial is adding more than 1 percent. The major exporters are higher, with Panasonic adding 1.5 percent and Sony edging up 0.3 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are gaining almost 1 percent each. Among the other major gainers, Tokio Marine is soaring more than 8 percent, Sompo Holdings is surging almost 7 percent, MS&AD Insurance Group is advancing almost 6 percent and CyberAgent is gaining almost 5 percent, while Z Holdings and Dai-ichi Life are adding more than 4 percent each. T&D Holdings is up more than 3 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Japan Exchange Group, Kao and Shiseido are rising almost 3 percent each. Conversely, JGC Holdings is losing almost 4 percent. In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 127 yen-range on Monday. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.4 percemt, while China, Singapore and Indonesia are lower by between 0.3 and 0.4 percent each. New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan are higher by between 0.2 and 0.3 percent each. South Korea is relatively flat. On Wall Street, stocks experienced another extremely volatile session during trading on Friday, with the major averages once again showing wild swings as the day progressed. The major averages pulled back sharply after failing to sustain an early upward move but staged a significant recovery attempt going into the close. After plunging more than 600 points at its worst levels, the Dow edged up 8.77 points or less than tenth of a percent to 31,261.90. The S&P 500 also ended the day roughly flat, inching up 0.57 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 3,901.36, while the Nasdaq dipped 33.88 points or 0.3 percent to 11,354.62. The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day but closed well off their best levels. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1.2 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent. Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday, lifted by the proposed ban on Russian oil by the EU and the relaxation of Covid lockdowns in China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July added $0.39 or 0.4 percent at $110.28 a barrel. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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