Asia markets increase despite US-Iran tensions; gold and oil prices fall back

Asian markets jumped on Tuesday while oil and gold prices pared losses amid rising geopolitical concerns in the Middle East.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.60% to close at 23,575.72 of Tuesday, after a decline of nearly 2% a day earlier. The Topix index rose 1.62%.

Most sectors gained, with tech stocks trading up. Nintendo pared some earlier gains to rise 0.47%, while Softbank was up 1.69%, and Sony surged 3.17%.

Auto stocks in Japan also strengthened, with major stocks up more than 1%. Mazda surged 2.30%, Honda jumped 2.73%, Toyota was up 1.98%, and Nissan rose 1.76%.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.95% to close at 2,175.54, led by the tech and cosmetics sectors.

Chinese stocks were also in positive territory. The Shanghai composite rose 0.69% to 3,104.80, while the Shenzhen composite jumped 1.31% to 1,791.85. The Shenzhen component surged 1.22% to 10,829.04.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.34% in its final hour of trade.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.35% to close at 6,826.40. Oil stocks saw gains, with Santos up 2.33%, Woodside Petroleum rising 0.76% and Oil Search gaining 2.35%. The heavily weighted financials sector was up 1.48%.

Meanwhile, bushfires are set to affect the country’s major dairy industry, with fire-affected regions accounting for around a third of Australia’s output, according to a Reuters report. Australia is the world’s seventh-largest dairy exporter.

Shares of Australia’s largest processor Bega Cheese fell as much as 10% on Monday, but pared losses on Tuesday to rise 2.81% by the close. It said Monday that its production facilities have not suffered any impact from the fires, but a number of its suppliers were affected.

Overall, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.74%.