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Asian Markets Mostly Lower

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Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Tuesday in the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street which was closed overnight for a public holiday. Investor sentiment was dampened following news that the International Monetary Fund or IMF lowered its global growth forecasts for this year and the next year.

Investors also remained cautious as they looked ahead to major corporate earnings results and central bank policy meetings due this week.

The Australian market is declining, ending a five-day winning streak.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 14.20 points or 0.20 percent to 7,065.30, after touching a low of 7,049.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 14.40 points or 0.20 percent to 7,181.90. Australian stocks rose for a fifth straight session on Monday.

Tech stocks are notably lower. Wisetech Global is losing almost 2 percent, Xero is lower by more than 1 percent and Appen is declining 1 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly lower. Woodside Petroleum is losing 0.5 percent and Oil Search is declining 0.4 percent, while Santos is rising 0.2 percent.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is rising more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is adding 0.1 percent, while BHP is down 0.2 percent.

BHP maintained its production and cost guidance for the 2020 financial year, but noted that petroleum production volumes for the year are expected to be towards the lower end of its outlook range. The miner's iron ore output for the half year increased 2 percent from the prior year.

Gold miners are also higher. Evolution Mining is advancing almost 0.7 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising 0.6 percent.

The big four banks are mixed. Commonwealth Bank is declining 0.6 percent and ANZ Banking is down 0.3 percent, while National Australia Bank is rising 0.2 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar was quoted at $0.6877 on Tuesday.

The Japanese market is losing after three straight days of gains while the safe-haven yen strengthened, in the absence of fresh cues overnight from Wall Street.

Investors also turned cautious ahead of the Bank of Japan's monetary policy decision due later today. The BoJ is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at -0.1 percent, although it may introduce other means of stimulus.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 116.66 points or 0.48 percent to 23,966.85, after touching a low of 23,954.32 earlier. Japanese stocks closed higher for the third straight day on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp. is higher by more than 1 percent, while Fast Retailing is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Advantest is declining almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is lower by more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Panasonic is losing 0.6 percent, Sony is lower by 0.5 percent and Canon is down 0.3 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is rising more than 1 percent.

Among auto stocks, Toyota Motor is advancing more than 1 percent, while Honda Motor is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is declining more than 1 percent and Inpex is lower by 0.4 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Mitsui E&S Holdings is rising more than 3 percent, while Kajima Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power are advancing almost 2 percent each.

On the flip side, M3, Yaskawa Electric and Shiseido Co. are losing almost 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 110 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is losing almost 2 percent after ratings agency Moody's downgraded the city's credit rating by one notch to "Aa3" from "Aa2".

Shanghai and Singapore are losing more than 1 percent each, while South Korea and Indonesia are also lower. Meanwhile, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan are higher.
The U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

The European markets ended mostly lower on Monday as investors largely refrained from making significant moves ahead of earnings announcement and central bank policy meetings due this week.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 ended down 0.4 percent, while Germany's DAX advanced 0.2 percent.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

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