Pedestrians cross a street in front of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX) in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday, October 29, 2020.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg via Getty Images
SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Tuesday after the week began as they battled for profits in what some analysts described as fragile.
In Australia, the ASX 200 benchmark index rose 0.92%, extending the progress made on the previous session. The heavily weighted sub-index for financials rose 1.65% as major bank names rose. ANZ shares rose 2.51%, Commonwealth Bank 1.29%, Westpac 1.78% and National Australia Bank 1.82%.
Japanese stocks struggled after the market opened as the main Nikkei 225 index posted further losses from the previous session, falling 0.44%. However, the Topix index rose 0.12%. Bank and auto stocks in Japan rose as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Toyota and Honda traded higher.
South Korean stocks fell sharply, with the Kospi falling 1.38% and the Kosdaq falling 2.1%. Tech stocks fell, with Samsung down 0.85%, chipmaker SK Hynix down 2.58%, LG Electronics down 0.35% and search engine operator Naver down 3.12%.
Tuesday’s session followed after European and US stocks started the new week on a positive note, with the blue-chip benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining around 300 points as the rotation out of technology continued.
The overnight moves were “driven by cyclicals and banks, a sign of optimism about the economic outlook and the impact of steeper yield curves,” said Rodrigo Catril, a senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank.
Investors will watch this week as the U.S. House of Representatives plans to pass a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus alleviation bill starting this month to bring new aid to Americans. This follows after the Senate passed the laws over the weekend. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it before major unemployment programs expire on Sunday.
Analysts said they remain constructive on the near-term economic outlook.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar was last traded at 92.313 against a basket of competitors after briefly trading below the 91.00 level the previous week.
The Japanese yen changed hands at 109.10 per dollar, weakening around 108.85 from previous levels, while the Australian dollar fell 0.14% to $ 0.7638.
The momentum in the oil market shifted and prices fell from Monday. US crude fell 0.35% to $ 64.82 during Tuesday’s Asian session, while the global benchmark Brent index fell overnight from above $ 70 a barrel.
First, Saudi Arabia reported that its oil facilities were attacked by rockets and drones on Sunday. A Houthi military spokesman assumed responsibility for the attacks. Analysts said the price spike was likely to be short-lived as the Saudis said infrastructure was not significantly damaged.