Asian Markets Trade Mostly Lower

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Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, despite the mostly positive cues from global markets on Friday, as traders react to the continuing geopolitical tension in the region amid the US-China spat over Taiwan. Renewed supply chain concerns after fresh restrictions and lockdowns were imposed in several COVID-hit cities in China also hurt market sentiment. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday, recouping most of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets on Friday, with gains across most sectors, led by the rebound in technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 27.80 points or 0.40 percent to 7,060.30, after touching a high of 7,074.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 31.70 points or 0.44 percent to 7,320.50. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are gaining almost 1 percent each. Mineral Resources is adding more than 2 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is losing almost 1 percent and Woodside Energy is edging down 0.1 percent, while Origin Energy is adding almost 1 percent. Beach energy is plummeting more than 11 percent after reporting a drop in production for the full-year, despite a rise in profit and revenues on higher realised gas prices.

Among tech stocks, Xero and WiseTech Global are gaining almost 3 percent each, while Zip is adding almost 1 percent, Afterpay owner Block is up almost 2 percent and Appen is advancing more than 2 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher, Newcrest Mining is gaining almost 1 percent and Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.1 percent, while Evolution Mining and Resolute Mining are adding almost 1 percent each. Gold Road Resources is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.2 percent each, while Westpac is losing almost 1 percent. ANZ Banking is flat. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is plunging more than 8 percent after reporting a drop in full-year profit and net interest margin.

In other news, shares in Nearmap are skyrocketing almost 26 percent after the aerial imagery firm received a takeover bid of $2.10 per share from private equity fund Thoma Bravo L.P.

Shares in Bluescope Steel are surging more than 6 percent after the steel producer posted a record full-year result on strong demand and higher prices for steel.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.710 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets on Friday, on optimism for economic growth and easing inflation after data showed a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in August.

Japan's annualized gross domestic product also expanded in the second quarter, but missed expectations.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,830.90, up 283.92 or 0.99 percent, after touching a high of 28,857.86 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 2 percent and Toyota is flat.

In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.5 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings are gaining almost 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are flat, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are mixed, with Sony and Mitsubishi Electric gaining more than 1 percent each, while Panasonic is edging down 0.3 percent and Canon is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Daiichi Sankyo is skyrocketing more than 14 percent and Trend Micro is gaining almost 4 percent, while Ebara and TDK are adding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Citizen Watch are losing almost 4 percent each.

In economic news, Japan's gross domestic product expanded an annualized 2.2 percent on year in the second quarter of 2022, the Cabinet Office said in Monday's preliminary reading. That missed expectations for an increase of 2.5 percent following the upwardly revised 0.5 percent contraction in the previous three months (originally -1.0 percent). On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, GDP gained 0.5 percent - again shy of forecasts for 0.6 percent following the upwardly revised 0.1 percent decline in the three months prior (originally -0.2 percent).

Capital expenditure improved 1.4 percent on quarter, beating forecasts for an increase of 0.9 percent after shrinking 0.7 percent in Q1. Private consumption was up 1.1 percent on quarter, missing forecasts for 1.3 percent after gaining 0.1 percent in the previous quarter.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 133 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.7 percent each, while New Zealand and Taiwan are up 0.6 percent each. Malaysia is relatively flat. Markets in South Korea are closed for Liberation Day Holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move back the upside during trading on Friday following the significant downturn seen over the course of Thursday's session. With the rally on the day, the major averages reached new three-month closing highs.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 424.38 points or 1.3 percent to 33,761.05, the Nasdaq surged 267.27 points or 2.1 percent to 13,047.19 and the S&P 500 shot up 72.88 points or 1.7 percent to 4,280.15.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Friday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) lowered its oil demand forecast for 2022. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $2.25 or 2.4 percent at $92.09 a barrel. For the week, WIT rose 3.5 percent.

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