Asian markets cautious ahead of crucial data, Australia’s ASX 200 gains on real estate and mining stocks

Asian markets traded mixed on Tuesday, as investors awaited key economic data from the US and China, as well as the outcome of the OPEC+ meeting later this week. Australia’s ASX 200 was the best performer in the region, boosted by gains in real estate and mining stocks.

The Australian benchmark index rose 0.8% to close at 7,614.30, its highest level since November 10. The index was supported by strong gains in the real estate sector, which rose 2.4%, as well as the materials sector, which added 1.6%. The energy sector also advanced 1.1%, despite the uncertainty over the OPEC+ meeting.

Some of the top gainers in the ASX 200 were property developer Mirvac Group, which surged 5.4%, iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group, which climbed 4.3%, and oil and gas producer Santos, which rose 3.4%.

Asian markets cautious ahead of crucial data, Australia’s ASX 200 gains on real estate and mining stocks
Asian markets cautious ahead of crucial data, Australia’s ASX 200 gains on real estate and mining stocks

The positive mood in the Australian market was also helped by the better-than-expected retail sales data for October, which showed a 1.3% increase month-on-month, beating the forecast of 1.1%. The data indicated that consumer spending remained resilient despite the lockdowns in some states.

Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng slip into the red

The Japanese and Hong Kong markets ended the day lower, as investors turned cautious ahead of the release of the US consumer confidence index and the China manufacturing and services PMIs later this week. The data could provide clues on the health of the world’s two largest economies, as well as the impact of the Omicron variant on the global recovery.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.5% to 28,941.52, dragged down by losses in the consumer staples and health care sectors. The Hang Seng index dropped 0.7% to 23,788.77, weighed down by the technology and financial sectors. Some of the worst performers in the Hong Kong market were e-commerce giant Alibaba, which slumped 4.1%, and insurance group AIA, which declined 2.4%.

Shanghai Composite and Kospi edge higher

The Chinese and South Korean markets managed to eke out modest gains, as investors shrugged off the worries over the Omicron variant and focused on the positive signs of economic recovery. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2% to 3,607.06, while the Kospi index gained 0.3% to 2,965.44.

The Chinese market was lifted by the strength in the industrial and consumer discretionary sectors, which rose 1.1% and 0.9%, respectively. The South Korean market was boosted by the rally in the information technology and communication services sectors, which advanced 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively.

Some of the best performers in the Shanghai Composite were steelmaker Baoshan Iron & Steel, which jumped 5.9%, and automaker SAIC Motor, which rose 4.1%. Some of the top gainers in the Kospi were chipmaker SK Hynix, which soared 4.2%, and internet giant Naver, which added 3.3%.

OPEC+ meeting in focus

The oil market was also in the spotlight, as investors awaited the outcome of the OPEC+ meeting on Thursday, where the group of major oil producers will decide whether to stick to their plan of increasing output by 400,000 barrels per day in December, or to pause or reverse the hike amid the uncertainty over the Omicron variant.

The oil prices rebounded on Tuesday, after plunging more than 10% on Friday, as some analysts argued that the Omicron variant may not have a significant impact on the oil demand. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 2.4% to $75.42 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, gained 2.6% to $72.01 a barrel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *