Investing.com – Asian stocks rose on Tuesday after a mixed home loan and business confidence data coming from Australia and as investors await Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to appear before Congress later in the day.
According to figures released by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of new loans granted for owner-occupied homes fell 1.9% in December as against the expectation of 0.9% rise. In November they rose by 1.4%.
ABS also reported that the Australian House Price Index rose by 3.4% in Q4 as against the expectation of 3% rise. In the previous quarter it rose by 2.4%.
The National Australia Bank business confidence index in January rose to 8 from 6 in December and business conditions index rose to 4 in January from 3 in December.
Japanese markets are closed for the public holiday of National Foundation Day.
In Shanghai, Foshan Haitian Flavoring and Food Company that raised Yaun3.8 billion in a recent IPO, jumped 44% in the early trading, that triggering market’s circuit breaker.
S&P/ASX rose 0.73%, Shanghai rose 0.36% while Hang Seng rose 1.69%.
On Monday the U.S. stocks posted cautious gains in a quiet session. At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.05%, the S&P 500 index gained 0.16%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.54%.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen will testify before the House of Representatives on Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday, and markets were eager for clues on the direction of monetary policy in wake of lackluster U.S. data.
On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added 113,000 jobs in January, less than an expected 185,000 increase.
While soft, the numbers weren''t seen as weak enough to prompt the Fed to seriously delay tapering its USD65 billion in monthly bond purchases, which aim to spur recovery by suppressing long-term interest rates, thus boosting stock prices in the process.
Still, uncertainty surrounding the pace at which the Fed will taper due to soft economic indicators gave stocks room to post cautious gains in a session void of major U.S. economic indicators.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Walt Disney, up 1.84%, The Travelers Companies, up 1.82%, and Coca-Cola, up 1.62%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included UnitedHealth, down 2.28%, Exxon Mobil, down 1.18%, and McDonald''s, down 1.10%.
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