Australian shares fell below the flatline on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) surprised most market watchers by holding back on further easing.» Read More
China posts the biggest drop in exports in four-and-a-half years and the biggest trade deficit in two years, weighing on stocks.
Asian shares mostly saw subdued trade on Thursday, ahead of Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.
After a most choppy session, Asian stocks closed lower on the first trading day of the week.
Some of Tuesday's midday movers:
Charles Leyland, Managing Director at Leyland Private Asset Management says despite Challenger Financial Group's strong result, there is still plenty of growth left in the stock.
BHP Billiton reported a 31 percent rise in first-half profit on Tuesday and signaled it would consider a dividend hike in August.
Attention this week is likely to be on the release of HSBC's flash China purchasing managers' index (PMI) for February and Bank of Japan's meeting.
David Walker, Head of Equities Research at Stocks In Value, says Rio Tinto could reward investors with a stronger-than-expected dividend.
Asian equity markets traded mixed on Wednesday. Overnight gains on Wall Street pushed Japan and South Korea shares on a rebound.
Asian stocks declined on Thursday after a preliminary reading of Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a six-month low.
Scott Maddock, Anlyst at Macquarie Private Portfolio Management, says he expects the iron ore market to remain strong, which should generate good returns for BHP Billiton shareholders
BHP Billiton posted strong rises in its December quarter and said it was well positioned to reward shareholders as productivity increased.
The "Fast Money" traders share their final trades of the day.
Australian miners shoveled record tonnages of iron ore in the December quarter, supported by billions of dollars worth of expansion plans coming on stream.
Australian iron ore mining seems immune from the spending crunch afflicting other commodities as a slowdown in Chinese growth cools a mining boom.
As Australian stocks power to fresh five-year highs, analysts say the country's benchmark index is set for further gains.
Asian shares retraced most of their early losses by midday Tuesday, even as the U.S. government shutdown dragged into its second week.
Asian stocks pared back some of their losses on Tuesday as investors continued to fret about the future of U.S. monetary stimulus among a lack of market catalysts.
Indian equities led the rest of Asia lower on the final trading day of the week after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unexpectedly raised its policy interest rate.
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