Cathay Pacific and finance stocks boost Asian markets; Australian market flat despite strong miners

<p>Asian shares were mostly up today, mirroring the positive lead from the US overnight. Finance and resources stocks were definitely in favour amongst investors at […]</p>

Asian shares were mostly up today, mirroring the positive lead from the US overnight.

Finance and resources stocks were definitely in favour amongst investors at the start of the year. January has traditionally been a good month for trading in Asia as most investors want to give the new year a boost.

Cathay Pacific is leading the gainers today after it came out with a statement of a positive outlook for 2011. The Hong Kong-based airline issued a profit warning late last year, which sent its share price down. Cathay Pacific shares were up 2 per cent today.

Asian resources companies are also enjoying a positive day on the back of flooding in Queensland, which could impact some Australian mining shares. With a large part of Queensland still under water and with flooding expected to remain in the next few days, there is growing concern that mining production and supply from Australia will be lower in the near future. And this is boosting the shares of Asian mining companies at the moment.

The Australian sharemarket closed slightly flat today due to the pull of insurance companies. Though miners and resources stocks held their ground today, it was not enough to pull the market any higher. Consumer staples were also trading lower today as retailers are still complaining about consumers not spending enough during the holiday season.

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