Asian Markets Mostly Higher

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Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday, ignoring the negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders looked to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the recent sell-offs. Concerns about the uncertainty on the outlook for the markets following the volatility seen throughout early October weighed on the markets along with surging crude oil prices leading to inflation and interest rate worries. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said the global economic recovery is continuing, but the momentum has weakened due the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered by the Delta variant.

The Australian stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 below the 7,300 level, following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street, with weakness in financial and materials stocks, partially offset by gains in technology and energy stocks.

The domestic coronavirus situation also continues to be a concern, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, as it is hindering economic activity. Victoria reported 1,571 new cases of COVID-19 and thirteen deaths on Tuesday, with 19,861 total active cases across Victoria. NSW recorded 444 new local cases and four deaths.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 10.20 points or 0.14 percent to 7,270.50, after touching a high of 7,294.00 and a low of 7,256.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 4.60 points or 0.06 percent to 7,571.00. Australian stocks ended modestly lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.2 percent and OZ Minerals is gaining more than 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are losing more than 1 percent each. Rio Tinto is down almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Woodside Petroleum is edging up 0.3 percent, while Beach energy and Origin Energy are gaining almost 1 percent each. Oil Search is losing almost 1 percent and Santos is flat.

In the tech space, WiseTech Global and Appen are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Xero is adding almost 2 percent and Afterpay is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Westpac and ANZ Banking are losing almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.3 percent and National Australia Bank is flat.

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is gaining almost 2 percent, Northern Star Resources is rising more than 1 percent and Resolute Mining is adding more than 2 percent, while Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are edging up 0.5 percent each.

Shares in Bubs Australia are soaring almost 24 percent after the goat-milk and infant formula maker reported strong first-quarter revenues, despite the disruption and challenges of COVID-19.

Shares in Raphael Geminder's Pact Group are plunging almost 17 percent after it announced the discontinuation of the sales process of its Contract Manufacturing businesses, citing pandemic-related supply chain disruptions.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.734 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Wednesday after being in the green briefly, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei index just below the 28,200 level, following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street, with financial and technology stocks dragging the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,168.99, down 61.62 points or 0.22 percent, after hitting a low of 27,993.46 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.1 percent, while Toyota is edging down 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is losing almost 2.5 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Advantest are declining more than 1 percent each.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is losing 1.5 percent, Mizuho Financial is down almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic is losing more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.4 percent and Sony is declining almost 1 percent, while Canon is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among the other major losers, Taiyo Yuden is losing almost 5 percent, while Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are down more than 3 percent each. Nippon Yusen K.K. and Tokyo Electric Power are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, J. Front Retailing is soaring more than 9 percent and Toho is gaining more than 5 percent, while Mitsubishi Motors, JGC Holdings, Mazda Motor and Fujikura are adding almost 4 percent each. Nippon Sheet Glass is up more than 3 percent, while Japan Steel Works and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings are up almost 3 percent each.

In economic news, the value of core machine orders in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent on month in August, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday - coming in at 839.3 billion yen. That missed expectations for an increase of 1.7 percent following the 0.9 percent gain in July. On a yearly basis, core machine orders jumped 17.0 percent - exceeding forecasts for a gain of 14.7 percent following the 11.1 percent increase in the previous month. For the third quarter of 2021, core machine orders are forecast to climb 11.0 percent on quarter and 24.4 percent on year.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 113 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore is gaining 1.3 percent and South Korean is adding 1 percent, while New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each. Taiwan and China are lower by 0.7 percent each. A storm has led to the cancellation of morning trading in Hong Kong.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Tuesday, following the downturn seen over the course of the previous session. The major averages spent most of the session lingering near the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the day modestly lower. The Dow dipped 117.72 points or 0.3 percent to 34,378.34, the Nasdaq edged down 20.28 points or 0.1 percent to 14,465.93 and the S&P 500 slipped 10.54 points or 0.2 percent to 4,350.65.

The major European markets also showed more modest moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil futures settled slightly higher Tuesday after prices moved up amid speculation the fuel market could get tighter this winter. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November rose $0.12 or about 0.2 percent at $80.64 a barrel.

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