Drop in oil price pushes Asian markets higher; miners pull Australian stocks down

<p>The slight fall in oil prices eased investors’ concerned and was enough to push many of the Asian markets higher today. The Hang Seng and […]</p>

The slight fall in oil prices eased investors’ concerned and was enough to push many of the Asian markets higher today.

The Hang Seng and Nikkei were both up around 0.65%. 

In Hong Kong, the big gainer was Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, which gained 2.9% on the prospect of lower fuel costs. Air China also advanced 0.8% while Cosco International Holdings, which provides shipping-related services rose 5%. 

In Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the country’s largest publicly traded bank, gained 1.4%. Toyota Motor Corp rose 1.1% after a report the world’s No. 1 carmaker plans to almost double its operating profit within three years. 

In Australia, the mining sector that led the market lower, but we saw weakness across the board.

The prevailing sentiment is still negative. The longer the Libyan crisis hangs around the more there will be concern amongst investors. At this stage, there are already speculations that if this (Libyan tension) persists further, it may impact the recovery in some economies.

Investors are now going for safe haven assets. That’s why some of the financials, consumer goods and telco stocks are trading higher today.

The positive lead that we got from the US overnight came solely on the back of finance stocks (there). But if you look at Europe and UK (overnight), they were fairly flat. The strong finish for finance stocks in the US trickled down to banking and finance stocks here, but that was not enough to push the market higher.

 

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