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Asian Markets Mostly Lower

asianmarkets3 dec19 22sep20 lt

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Wednesday despite the tech-led rebound overnight on Wall Street as worries about the global economic recovery, the rising number of coronavirus cases in Europe and the U.S. as well as U.S.-China tensions weighed on the markets.

The Australian market is rising after four straight days of losses following the overnight rebound on Wall Street and a fall in Victoria's daily number of coronavirus cases.

Investor sentiment received a boost after the Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor outlined various monetary policy options on Tuesday, including foreign exchange intervention and negative rates to combat the financial downturn arising from the coronavirus pandemic. Stocks are higher across the board.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 78.90 points or 1.36 percent to 5,863.00 after touching a high of 5,784.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 82.00 points or 1.37 percent to 6,055.50.

In the tech sector, Afterpay is gaining more than 5 percent, Appen is rising more than 3 percent and WiseTech Global is advancing more than 2 percent.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is higher by more than 1 percent, Rio Tinto is advancing almost 1 percent and BHP Group is adding 0.5 percent.

Gold miners are higher even as gold prices declined for a second straight session overnight. Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are rising more than 1 percent each.

In the oil sector, Santos and Woodside Petroleum are adding 0.5 percent each, while Oil Search is up 0.2 percent after crude oil prices rebounded overnight.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ Banking are advancing in a range of 0.9 percent to 1.3 percent.

The Japanese market, which resumed trading after a long weekend, is declining as investors played catch up with the heavy losses in global markets earlier this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 192.64 points or 0.82 percent to 23,167.66, off a low of 23,163.82 earlier.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is lower by more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are lower despite a weaker yen. Panasonic is lower by almost 3 percent, Canon is losing more than 2 percent and Sony is declining almost 2 percent.

In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down almost 1 percent.

Among automakers, Honda is losing more than 3 percent and Toyota is down 0.5 percent. In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is tumbling more than 5 percent and Inpex is losing almost 4 percent.

Meanwhile, tech stocks are higher after their U.S. peers rebounded overnight. Tokyo Electron is rising more than 1 percent and Advantest is adding almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Japan Steel Works is gaining more than 8 percent, while Cyberagent and NTT Data are rising more than 4 percent each.

Conversely, Nippon Sheet Glass is tumbling almost 6 percent and Mitsubishi Motors is losing almost 5 percent. Toyo Seikan Group, IHI Corp. and Nikon Corp. are lower by more than 4 percent each.

In economic news, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract in September, albeit at a barely slower pace, with a manufacturing PMI score of 47.3. That's up marginally from 47.2 in August, although it remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 105 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia are all lower, while New Zealand and Indonesia are higher.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded on Tuesday, reflecting a recovery in tech stocks and as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank remains committed to using its tools to ensure a strong economic recovery. In addition, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House continues to seek an agreement with both parties in Congress on another fiscal relief package.

The Dow ended with a gain of 140.48 points or 0.52 percent at 27,288.18, about 300 points off the session's low. The S&P 500 climbed up 34.51 points or 1.05 percent to 3,315.57, while the Nasdaq surged up 184.84 points or 1.71 percent to 10,963.64.

The major European markets also closed mostly higher on Tuesday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.43 percent and Germany's DAX gained 0.41 percent, while France's CAC 40 declined 0.4 percent.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, rebounding from a recent sharp fall, although the uptick was not any significantly sharp as worries about outlook for energy demand continued to weigh on the commodity's prices. WTI crude for November added $0.26 or about 0.7 percent at $39.80 a barrel.

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