Pedestrians cross a road in front of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg via Getty Images
SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed Tuesday after starting the week by struggling for gains in what some analysts have described as a fragile environment.
In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 jumped 0.92%, extending advances from the previous session. The heavily-weighted financials subindex advanced 1.65% as major banking names rose. ANZ shares were up 2.51%, Commonwealth Bank added 1.29%, Westpac rose 1.78% and National Australia Bank was up 1.82%.
Japanese shares struggled after market open where the main Nikkei 225 index accrued further losses from the previous session, dropping 0.44%. The Topix index, however, eked out a 0.12% gain. Banking and auto shares in Japan advanced as the likes of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Toyota, and Honda traded higher.
South Korean shares fell sharply, with the Kospi down 1.38% and the Kosdaq tumbling 2.1%. Tech shares declined: Samsung was down 0.85%, chipmaker SK Hynix was down 2.58%, LG Electronics slipped 0.35%, while search engine operator Naver fell 3.12%.
Tuesday’s session followed after European and U.S. stocks began the new week on a positive mood, where blue-chip benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 300 points while the rotation out of tech 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 the National Australia Bank.
Investors this week will watch as the U.S. House of Representatives plans to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill to get fresh aid to Americans starting this month. That follows after the Senate passed the legislation over the weekend. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it before key unemployment programs expire on Sunday.
Analysts said that they remain constructive on the near term economic outlook.
The U.S. dollar last traded at 92.313 against a basket of its peers, after briefly trading below the 91.00 level in the previous week.
Momentum in the oil market shifted and prices fell from Monday’s level. U.S. crude dipped 0.35% to $64.82 during Asian trading hours on Tuesday while global benchmark Brent declined overnight from levels above $70 a barrel.
Initially, Saudi Arabia reported that its oil facilities were targeted by missiles and drones on Sunday. A Houthi military spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks. Analysts said that the run up in prices were likely to be short-lived as the Saudis said there was no significant damage to infrastructure.