Asian stock markets are trading lower on Tuesday with investors mostly treading cautiously following a weak lead from the U.S. and European markets, amid mounting worries about the financial situation in Europe following the rating downgrade on as many as 28 Spanish banks.
Though some of the markets in the region are off their early lows, the mood remains somewhat bearish in the region.
In the Australian market, financial and mining stocks are trading weak. Information technology and healthcare stocks are finding some support, while consumer discretionary, energy and industrial stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is down 18.2 points or nearly 0.4 percent at 4,009.6. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,052.9, down 19.1 points or 0.5 percent from its previous close.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are trading lower by 0.3 to 0.6 percent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia is up marginally. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is losing about 0.6 percent and Bank of Queensland is trading slightly higher.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are trading notably lower, while Newcrest Mining is trading in positive territory with a gain of around 1 percent.
In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Caltex Australia are trading notably lower, while Oil Search and Caltex Australia are trading higher by 1.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
Fairfax Media shares are down more than 5.5 percent on reports the company's largest shareholder Gina Rinehart raised the prospect of selling out should she be unable to secure seats on the board "without unsuitable conditions".
Shares of Ten Network Holdings are trading lower by about 1 percent. According to reports, Gina Rinehart has increased her stake in the Ten Network to more than 10 percent. Rinehart bought almost 39.2 million Ten shares on June 19 for A$19.99 million, according to a note sent to the Australian Securities Exchange by the company.
Seven West Media is trading lower by over 10 percent. Bluescope Steel and Paladin Energy are down by over 3.5 percent from their previous closing prices. Oz Minerals, Qantas Airways and Toll Holdings are trading lower by 2 to 2.8 percent.
Downer EDI, Panaust, Alumina, Tatts Group, Lynas Corporation, Resmed Inc and Leighton Holdings are also trading notably lower.
Myer Holdings Limited shares are up 2 percent after the company announced plans to expand into the Northern Territory with a new store to be built in Darwin.
Whitehaven Coal, Incitec Pivot, Orica, Insurance Australia Group, Primary Healthcare and CSL are also trading notably higher.
Swinging between gains and losses, the Japanese market regained some lost ground after a weak start. A weak lead from Wall Street and the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar triggered some hectic selling early on in the session, but stocks found some support towards the end of the morning session and trimmed down losses to an extent.
Automobile, precision instruments, insurance, oil and glass & ceramics stocks were mostly down in negative territory when the morning session ended. Electric power, railway and bank stocks opened on a slightly firm note, but retreated from higher levels subsequently.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which staged a mild recovery after opening notably lower, was down 43.7 points or 0.5 percent at 8,690.9 at the end of the morning session.
Nippon Electric Glass lost more than 7 percent following the company cutting its net-income outlook.
Teijin, TDK Corp, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, JFE Holdings, Japan Steel Works, Mitsumi Electric and Showa Denko KK drifted down by 3 to 4 percent.
Pioneer Corp lost nearly 3 percent. Mazda Motor, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Sumitomo Chemicals, Sharp Corp, Nippon Yusen KK, IHI Corp, Nippon Steel, Pacific Metals and Mitsui Chemicals were also trading sharply lower at the break.
Meanwhile, Takashimaya, Japan Tobacco, Nippon Paper Group, Mitsubishi Paper Mills, Yahoo Japan, Nippon Light Metals, Tobu Railway and Taisei Corp surged higher, gaining between 1 percent and 2.5 percent.
On the economic front, an index measuring corporate service prices in Japan was up 0.1 percent on year at 96.1 in May, the Bank of Japan said. That was below forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent following the 0.2 percent gain in the previous month. On a monthly basis, the index was down 0.4 percent after showing a flat reading in April.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 79 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 79.72 to the dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Shanghai and New Zealand are trading notably lower. Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are down with modest losses, while Hong Kong and Indonesia are up marginally. Markets across the region ended lower on Monday.
On Wall Street, stocks declined sharply on Monday amid lingering concerns about the ongoing European debt crisis and its likely impact on the global economy.
After moving sharply lower in early trading, the major averages remained stuck firmly in the red throughout the session. The Dow ended down 138.1 points or 1.1 percent at 12,502.7, the Nasdaq declined 56.3 points or 2 percent to 2,836.2 and the S&P 500 slid 21.3 points or 1.6 percent to 1,313.7.
Major European markets also ended notably lower on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index tumbled 1.1 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index plummeted by 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures settled lower on Monday, on demand concerns and a strong dollar that continued to gain against most major currencies. Crude for August delivery dropped $0.55 or 0.7 percent to close at $79.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com