Plus   Neg

Asian Markets Mostly Lower

asiancommentary jan22 28jun20 lt

Asian stock markets are lower on Monday following the negative cues from Wall Street Friday and on worries that a surge in the coronavirus cases worldwide could lead to the re-imposition of lockdowns and other containment measures.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed 10 million, while the global death toll from the pandemic is more than 500,000.

The Australian market is notably lower following the negative lead from Wall Street and as Victoria recorded a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 102.30 points or 1.73 percent to 5,801.80, off a low of 5,786.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 103.50 points or 1.72 percent to 5,908.30. Australian stocks closed higher on Friday.

Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices dipped on Friday. Oil Search is losing more than 4 percent, Santos is lower by almost 4 percent and Woodside Petroleum is declining more than 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is losing more than 3 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are lower by almost 3 percent each. Commonwealth Bank is declining more than 2 percent.

Among the major miners, BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are all declining more than 2 percent each.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are higher after gold prices rose Friday on safe-haven demand. Evolution Mining is higher by almost 3 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising almost 2 percent.

Ampol said it has appointed Matthew Halliday, who has been its interim chief after the retirement of Julian Segal in March, as its permanent CEO and managing director. The refining and fuel retailer's shares are lower by more than 1 percent.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare reported a 37 percent surge in full-year profit amid a jump in demand for respiratory as well as home care products due to the coronavirus pandemic and also raised its final dividend. The health equipment provider's shares are gaining almost 4 percent.

Spanish utility Iberdrola has raised its takeover offer for Australian wind farm operator Infigen Energy to A$0.89 per share, after rival bidder UAC, a unit of Philippines conglomerate Ayala Corp, raised its offer to A$0.86 per share. Shares of Infigen Energy are rising more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6861, compared to $0.6883 on Friday.

The Japanese market is declining following the weak cues from Wall Street. The rising number of coronavirus cases in Tokyo and weak Japanese retail sales data also dampened sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 332.43 points or 1.48 percent to 22,179.65, after touching a low of 22,105.39 earlier. Japanese shares closed higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is down 0.7 percent and Fast Retailing is declining more than 1 percent.

In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ is losing more than 2 percent, while Resona Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group are lower by almost 2 percent each.

The major exporters are lower despite a weaker yen. Canon is falling almost 5 percent and Panasonic is losing almost 3 percent. Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are declining more than 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising almost 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.7 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are declining more than 1 percent each.

In the oil sector, Inpex is declining more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is lower by almost 1 percent after crude oil prices declined on Friday.

Among the worst performers, SkyPerfect JSAT Holdings is tumbling more than 8 percent and Mitsui E&S is losing almost 6 percent. Credit Saison and J Front Retailing are lower by more than 5 percent each.

In economic news, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that retail sales in Japan were down 12.3 percent on year in May. That missed expectations for a drop of 11.6 percent following the 13.7 percent decline in the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 107 yen-range on Monday.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Friday following a sharp surge in new coronavirus infections in several states. Banking stocks turned lower after the Fed released the results of its stress tests on banks and ordered certain banks to cap dividends and suspend share buyback to conserve funds. Disappointing earnings report from Nike also hurt sentiment.

The Dow plunged 730.05 points or 2.84 percent to settle at 25,015.55, registering its steepest fall in two weeks. The Nasdaq slid 259.78 points or 2.59 percent to 9,757.22 and the S&P 500 tumbled 74.71 points or 2.42 percent to 3,009.05.

The major European markets also closed mostly lower on Friday. Germany's DAX shed 0.73 percent and France's CAC 40 slid 0.18 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE rose 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, weighed down by concerns over energy demand outlook in the wake of sharp spikes in new coronavirus infections in several states in the U.S. WTI crude for August declined $0.23 or about 0.6 percent at $38.49 a barrel.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT