Mining industry. Heavy excavator loading granite rock or iron ore into the huge dump truck at opencast quarry. Sunset

Australia’s ASX 200 index edged higher ahead of the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the second quarter. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was also up on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index extended its losses ahead of China’s manufacturing PMI at the end of the week. Mainland Chinese stocks, Shanghai Composite, as well as Shenzhen Component, were at a standstill.

Australian Economic Concerns

The ASX 200 index was positive on Tuesday amid the surging coronavirus cases in the country. NSW recorded its worst day in the Sydney outbreak with the state reporting 172 fresh coronavirus cases.

Lockdown restrictions in the central west of NSW will be lifted on Wednesday as there were no more cases of the virus. Lockdown restrictions in Victoria were maintained but eased. An announcement on future lockdowns is expected on Wednesday as Gladys Berejiklian faces calls to tighten lockdown.

Australia’s quarterly CPI for the second quarter is expected to slightly increase to 0.7% from the previous 0.6%. Its annual CPI is expected to jump to 3.8% from the previous 1.1%. With the robust global economic recovery, there was high demand for goods.

Investors have shifted their focus to the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. The Fed is expected to announce its interest decision. The Federal Open Market Committee will issue its monetary policy statement. According to Jerome Powell, the Fed will only start scaling back its monetary policy once significant inflation stability is met.

ASX 200 Movers

Australia’s ASX 200 index advanced on Tuesday boosted by a jump in mining and energy stocks due to increased firm commodity prices.

OZ Minerals Limited was the best performer in the index. The modern mining company jumped 6.60% in its stock price. The company reported rosy production numbers on Tuesday.

BlueScope Steel Limited shares were hovering near records high on Tuesday. The company’s share price climbed 5.36% to $24.19 which was the highest level since 2008.

Worley Limited was also among the best performers in the index. Worley is an engineering services company in North Sydney. The company gained 4.12% in its stock earnings.

The a2 Milk Company Limited was the worst performer in the index. The company’s share price fell by more than 4.69%. The company’s losses were linked to the lockdown restrictions in Australia as well as increased regulation in China, its biggest client.

Silver Lake Resources Limited was also in the red on Tuesday. The gold ore mining company fell 3.54% due to a shortage of skilled labor.

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