Asian shares open a new quarter slightly higher; Aussie dollar still rising

<p>Asian markets were trading only slightly higher today with the benchmark Hang Seng and Nikkei indices both up around 0.1%. In Japan, Inpex Corp, the […]</p>

Asian markets were trading only slightly higher today with the benchmark Hang Seng and Nikkei indices both up around 0.1%.

In Japan, Inpex Corp, the country’s largest energy exploration company, jumped 4.3% set for the highest close since May 10. Japan Petroleum exploration Co, the second largest oil driller, rose 2.8%, a level not seen since May 21.

In Hong Kong, stocks fluctuated as growth in China’s manufacturing sector boosted energy companies. CNOOC Ltd, China’s biggest offshore oil producer, rose 1.1% while PetroChina Co, the nation’s top energy producer gained 0.7% as manufacturing growth eased concern that monetary policy tightening will slow China’s economic expansion.

In Australia, shares were generally stronger as speculation continues around a possible takeover or buy into Woodside Petroleum. The big miners and major banks led the market’s strong performance at the start of another quarter.

The Australian dollar is also holding its ground around the US$1.0344 level on the back of strong commodity and base metals prices.

The market will focus on tonight’s US non-farm payroll numbers, which is expected to come just below last month’s 192,000 jobs.

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