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Asian Markets Mostly Lower

asiadown march17 24nov21 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday, despite the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, on a drop in crude oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar. Traders also remain concerned about the near-term outlook for the markets and economy amid the resurgence in coronavirus cases and fresh lockdown measures in Europe and several other countries. Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

The Australian stock market is relatively flat in choppy trading on Thursday, after the slight losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 a tad below the 7,400 level, despite the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, with strong gains in materials and technology stocks partially offset by weakness in financial and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 0.70 points or 0.01 percent to 7,398.70, after touching a high of 7,411.70 and a low of 7,373.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 4.00 points or 0.05 percent to 7,729.50. Australian markets ended marginally lower on Wednesday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto is gaining more than 1 percent, Mineral Resources is rising almost 4 percent and Fortescue Metals is up almost 3 percent, while OZ Minerals and BHP Group are adding almost 1 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Origin Energy, Woodside Petroleum and Santos are losing almost 1 percent each, while Oil Search is edging down 0.2 percent and Beach Energy is losing almost 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are losing almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is edging down 0.2 percent and National Australia Bank is edging down 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay is gaining almost 3 percent, while Zip, Appen and WiseTech Global are adding almost 2 percent each. Xero is flat.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.2 percent, while Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources are gaining more than 1 percent each. Gold Road Resources and Resolute Mining are losing almost 1 percent each

Shares of EML Payments are soaring more than 22 percent after the company said the Central Bank of Ireland will permit its Irish subsidiary to sign new customers and launch new programs while staying within the material growth restrictions.

In economic news, private capital expenditure in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 2.2 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2021, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, coming in at A$32.699 billion. That missed expectations for a fall of 2.0 percent following the 4.4 percent increase in the previous three months. On a yearly basis, overall capital spending was up 12.9 percent, while building capex rose 9.0 percent and plant machinery capex jumped 17.4 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.720 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Thursday, recouping most of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 moving above the 29,500 level, following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, with technology stocks tracking their peers on Nasdaq amid a retreat in bond yields.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,500.57, up 197.91 points or 0.68 percent, after touching a high of 29,570.42 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is edging up 0.2 percent and Honda is gaining more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.2 percent and Tokyo Electron is gaining almost 1 percent, while Screen Holdings is losing almost 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.4 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining more than 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is adding almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher. Panasonic is edging up 0.2 percent, Sony is gaining almost 2 percent and Canon is adding almost 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, GS Yuasa is gaining more than 4 percent and Asahi Kasei is adding almost 4 percent, while Fuji Electric, Shionogi & Co. and Yamaha Motor are up more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, ANA Holdings is plunging more than 5 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 115 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore are lower by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each, while New Zealand and Indonesia are up 0.2 and 1.0 percent, respectively. Taiwan is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved to the downside early in the session on Wednesday but showed a notable turnaround over the course of the trading day. The major averages climbed well off their early lows, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closing in positive territory.

The Nasdaq rose 70.09 points or 0.4 percent to 15,845.23 and the S&P 500 inched up 10.76 points or 0.2 percent to 4,701.46. Meanwhile, the Dow bounced well off its worst levels but still closed down 9.42 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 35,804.38.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil futures settled slightly lower on Wednesday after data showed a modest increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures ended down by $0.11 or 0.14 percent at $78.39 a barrel.

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