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Asian Markets Mostly Lower


Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday following the modest losses on Wall Street Friday amid worries about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war on the tech sector. Investors are also cautious as they look ahead to key central bank meetings, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, later this week.

The Australian market is declining, with mining and oil stocks among the leading decliners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.30 points or 0.32 percent to 6,532.70, after touching a low of 6,529.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 19.80 points or 0.30 percent to 6,613.80. Australian stocks fluctuated before ending modestly higher on Friday.

In the mining space, Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 3 percent, Rio Tinto is losing more than 2 percent and BHP Group is declining more than 1 percent.

South32 said it has lowered the estimated coal reserves at its Illawarra Metallurgical project. The miner's shares are down almost 3 percent.

Gold miners are also weak after gold prices ended flat on Friday. Evolution Mining is declining more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is down more than 1 percent.

AGL Energy said it has withdrawn it's A$3.02 billion non-binding, indicative takeover proposal for internet provider Vocus Group, as it was no longer confident the deal will create value for its shareholders. Shares of AGL Energy are advancing more than 2 percent, while Vocus' shares are tumbling almost 31 percent.

In the tech sector, Afterpay Touch is losing almost 3 percent, while WiseTech Global is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank is edging down 0.1 percent.

ANZ Banking's NZ chief executive David Hisco has left the bank after board members raised concerns about his personal expenses following an internal review. He has been replaced by Antonia Watson as CEO on an interim basis.

In the oil space, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are lower by 0.6 percent each, while Santos is losing more than 1 percent.

Cochlear said its Nucleus Profile Plus Series cochlear implant has received regulatory approval and will launch immediately in the U.S. The hearing device manufacturer's shares are adding 0.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6880, down from $0.6902 on Friday.

The Japanese market opened lower following the weak cues from Wall Street Friday amid worries about the U.S.-China trade war on the tech sector. However, the market has recovered after a weak start and is modestly higher as investors remained cautious ahead of key central bank meetings later this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is in adding 40.45 points or 0.19 percent to 21,157.34, after falling to a low of 21,044.62 in early trades. Japanese shares rose on Friday, led by energy stocks.

Among tech stocks, Tokyo Electron is declining more than 3 percent and Advantest is losing almost 5 percent.

Shares of Japan Display are losing more than 5 percent after the company said Taiwanese electronics component maker TPK Holding, a member of the Taiwan-China consortium that planned to offer bailout funds to Japan Display, has notified that it will pull out of the consortium and forgo providing the funds.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is advancing more than 1 percent and Fast Retailing is adding 0.5 percent. In the auto space, Toyota Motor is lower by 0.3 percent and Honda Motor is edging down 0.1 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Sony is rising almost 3 percent, Panasonic is adding 0.2 percent and Canon is up 0.4 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is declining more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down 0.2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is lower by 0.3 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is losing 0.4 percent and Japan Petroleum is lower by more than 1 percent even as crude oil prices edged higher on Friday.

Among the major gainers, Tokyo Dome is rising more than 5 percent and Rakuten is higher by almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, Screen Holdings is losing more than 4 percent, while Mitsui E&S, Yaskawa Electric and TDK Corp. are all lower by almost 3 percent each.

Shares of Pepper Food Service Co. are losing more than 3 percent after the restaurant chain said Friday its American depositary receipts or ADRs will be delisted from the U.S. Nasdaq stock market by autumn. Pepper Food Service runs the Ikinari Steak restaurants.

In economic news, Japan will release May numbers for department store sales and Tokyo condominium sales today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 108 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai is losing almost 1 percent, while South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore are also lower. Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan are higher.

On Wall Street, tech stocks came under pressure on Friday after Broadcom reported better than expected fiscal second-quarter earnings, but lowered its full-year revenue guidance. Comments from Broadcom President and CEO Hock Tan led to renewed concerns about the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute on the broader tech sector.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed its counterparts, ending the session down 40.47 points or 0.5 percent at 7,796.66. The Dow edged down 17.16 points or 0.1 percent to 26,089.61 and the S&P 500 dipped 4.66 points or 0.2 percent to 2,886.98.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. While the German DAX Index slid by 0.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose on Friday amid an escalation in geopolitical tensions following the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. WTI crude oil for July added $0.23 or about 0.4 percent to close at $52.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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