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Asian Markets Trade Mostly Lower

asiadown march19 19jun22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, dragged by materials and energy stocks amid tumbling crude oil prices, Traders also remain concerned that aggressive monetary tightening by major central banks to cool inflation could lead to a slowdown in global growth. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden stated that a U.S. recession isn't inevitable and that the country was "in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome inflation."

The Australian stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Monday, extending the losses in the previous six sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 hovering around 19-month lows below the 7,500 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, with weakness across most sectors, particularly technology and energy stocks amid tumbling crude oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 40.50 points or 0.63 percent to 6,434.30, after hitting a low of 6,407.00 and a high of 6,493.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 53.00 points or 0.80 percent to 6,610.30. Australian stocks closed sharply lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group, OZ Minerals and Mineral Resources are losing almost 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto is declining more than 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is slipping almost 3 percent.

Oil stocks are lower. Santos and Woodside Energy are sliding almost 4 percent each, while Beach energy is plunging almost 6 percent and Origin Energy is losing more than 2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Xero and WiseTech Global are edging down 0.3 percent each, while Appen is gaining 5.5 percent, Afterpay owner Block is adding more than 3 percent. Zip is losing almost 2 percent.

Gold miners are weak. Gold Road Resources, Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are losing more than 3 percent each, while Resolute Mining is slipping more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is declining almost 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is gaining almost 2 percent and ANZ Banking is up more than 1 percent, while National Australia Bank and Westpac are adding almost 1 percent each.

In other news, shares in Infomedia Ltd are surging almost 8 percent after the automotive software firm received a $443 million acquisition offer from U.S.-based software company Solera Holdings LLC.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.695 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply lower on Monday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 staying above the 25,600 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, with materials, technology and energy stocks leading the declines, even as traders continue to be worried about the economic impact of aggressive monetary policy tightening.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 25,534.68, down 428.32 or 1.65 percent, after hitting a low of 25,520.23 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging up 0.5 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is slipping more than 4 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings are declining almost 6 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging down 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are lower, with Sony, Canon and Panasonic losing more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is down almost 2 percent.

Among the other major losers, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is plummeting almost 9 percent, Inpex is plunging almost 8 percent, IHI is sliding more than 7 percent and Kawasaki Heavy Industries is slipping almost 7 percent, while JGC Holdings and Marubeni are declining almost 6 percent each. Idemitsu Kosan is losing more than 5 percent, while Tokai Carbon, Mitsui E&S Holdings, Hitachi Zosen and Sumco are down almost 5 percent each. Alps Alpine and Komatsu are slipping more than 4 percent each.

Conversely, there are no major gainers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 134 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is losing 2.1 percent, while Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.9 and 1.0 percent each. New Zealand, China, Hong Kong and Singapore are relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks saw substantial volatility over the course of the session on Friday following the sell-off seen during trading on Thursday. The major averages showed wild swings as the day progressed before finishing the session mixed.

While the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 152.25 points or 1.4 percent to 10,798.35 and the S&P 500 crept up 8.07 points or 0.2 percent to 3,674.84, the narrower Dow edged down 38.29 points or 0.1 percent to 29,888.78, closing at its lowest level since December of 2020.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices fell sharply Friday on mounting fears about a possible global economic recession following severe tightening of policies by several central banks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended lower by $8.03 or 6.8 percent at $109.56 a barrel.

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