Asian Markets Trading Mixed

asiancommentary dec03 08aug22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the mixed or mildly negative cues from global markets overnight, amid easing concerns about a potential recession following last week's much stronger than expected US jobs data. Traders may also be reluctant to make significant bets ahead of the release of closely watched U.S. inflation data on Wednesday. Asian markets closed mixed on Monday.

Economists have suggested that the inflation data could have an even greater impact on Fed officials' thinking than the jobs data.

The geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China over Taiwan also remained on investors' radar, with China announcing fresh military drills in the seas and airspace around Taiwan.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,000 mark, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains in mining and energy stocks partially offset by weakness in financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 10.30 points or 0.15 percent to 7,030.90, after touching a high of 7,034.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 20.20 points or 0.28 percent to 7,279.70. Australian stocks closed slightly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are edging up 0.3 percent each, while Mineral Resources is gaining almost 3 percent, Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent and OZ Minerals is up almost 1 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher, with Beach energy and Origin Energy edging up 0.3 percent each, while Woodside Energy is gaining almost 1 percent. Santos is edging down 0.2 percent.

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

Gold miners are mostly higher. Newcrest Mining, Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Resolute Mining and Gold Road Resources are flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is losing almost 2 percent, Westpac is down more than 1 percent and ANZ Banking is edging down 0.5 percent. National Australia Bank is slipping 3.5 percent despite reporting a rise in quarterly revenues and profit amid higher interest rates.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.698 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Tuesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous four sessions, with the Nikkei 225 staying a tad above the 28,000 mark, following the mildly negative cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors, primarily in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,009.35, down 239.89 points or 0.85 percent, after hitting a low of 27,976.45 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 4 percent after reporting a hefty loss for the first quarter, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 1 percent and Toyota is declining more than 2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 3 percent, Tokyo Electron is plunging more than 9 percent after reporting a drop in profit, hit by Shanghai lockdowns, and Screen Holdings is declining 3.5 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 2 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down more than 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are lower, with Mitsubishi Electric losing almost 1 percent, Canon edging down 0.5 percent, Panasonic declining almost 2 percent and Sony slipping almost 3 percent.

Among the other major losers, Japan Steel Works is plunging almost 10 percent and Yamato Holdings is slipping almost 6 percent, while Tokai Carbon, Yokohama Rubber and Kirin Holdings are losing more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Trend Micro is soaring more than 8 percent, Nissan Chemical is surging almost 7 percent, Mitsui E&S Holdings is gaining almost 5 percent, Maruha Nichiro is adding almost 4 percent and Nippon Sheet Glass is up more than 3 percent.

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

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are lower by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent, while New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.3 and 0.6 percent each. China is relatively flat. Singapore is closed for National Day holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Monday after failing to sustain an early move to the upside. The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session and spent the remainder of the day lingering near the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the session narrowly mixed. While the Dow inched up 29.07 points or 0.1 percent to 32,832.54, the Nasdaq slipped 13.10 points or 0.1 percent to 12,644.46 and the S&P 500 edged down 5.13 points or 0.1 percent to 4,140.06.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both advanced by 0.8 percent.

Crude oil prices recovered after early losses and settled sharply higher on Monday as data showed a significant increase in oil purchases by China so far this month. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended higher by $1.75 or 2 percent at $90.76 a barrel.

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