Asian Markets Mostly Lower On Wall Street Cues

asiadown march17 15sep22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Friday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, as weak crude oil and bullion prices weigh on energy and materials stocks. Traders also pause to assess the impact of the proposed aggressive interest rate hikes by global central banks in their bid to reign in surging inflation. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.

The World Bank said the world could be edging towards a global recession as central banks are aggressively increasing interest rates to combat surging inflation. The US Fed is widely expected to deliver a third 75 basis-point rate hike when it meets next week.

The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Friday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 6,800 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, dragged by weakness in mining and energy stocks amid tumbling commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 89.10 points or 1.30 percent to 6,753.80, after hitting a low of 6,750.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 91.40 points or 1.29 percent to 6,991.10. Australian markets ended modestly higher on Thursday.

Among major miners, OZ Minerals and Rio Tinto are slipping almost 1 percent each, while BHP Group is losing 1.5 percent, Fortescue Metals is down more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is sliding almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are weak. Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are losing almost 2 percent each, while Beach energy and Santos are slipping more than 2 percent each.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is edging down 0.1 percent, Xero is down almost 1 percent and WiseTech Global is declining more than 3 percent, while Appen and Zip are losing more than 2 percent each.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is gaining almost 2 percent, Westpac is adding almost 1 percent and ANZ Banking is edging up 0.1 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is flat.

Gold miners are weak. Newcrest Mining is losing more than 2 percent, Resolute Mining is plunging almost 7 percent and Gold Road Resources is down almost 5 percent, while Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are sliding 3.5 percent each.

In other news, shares in Atlas Arteria are plummeting almost 14 percent after the toll road operator announced it had bought a 66.6 percent stake in a toll way in Chicago.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.671 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply lower on Friday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,600 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, dragged by weakness in technology stocks. Traders are also concerned about the continued depreciation of the yen, high inflation, rising interest rates and slowing global growth.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,574.58, down 301.33 points or 1.08 percent, after hitting a low of 27,525.68 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is declining almost 2 percent and Toyota is down almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings are declining more than 3 percent each.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging up 0.3 to 0.5 percent each.

Among major exporters, Canon is losing almost 1 percent, while Panasonic and Sony are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each. Mitsubishi Electric is gaining almost 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, IHI Corp. is losing 5.5 percent, while Trend Micro and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are down almost 5 percent each. Nippon Express is slipping more than 4 percent, while Pacific Metals, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Yokogawa Electric are declining more than 3 percent each. NEXON, Toho Zinc, JGC Holdings, Inpex and Alps Alpine are sliding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Fukuoka Financial is gaining more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 143 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.9 percent each. Singapore is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the session on Thursday before coming under considerable pressure in the latter part of the session. The Dow and the S&P 500 more than offset Wednesday's gains, falling to their lowest closing levels in two months.

The major averages climbed off their worst lows of the session going into the close but remained firmly negative. The Dow slid 173.27 points or 0.6 percent to 30,961.82, the Nasdaq tumbled 167.32 points or 1.4 percent to 11,552.36 and the S&P 500 slumped 44.66 points or 1.1 percent to 3,901.36.

The major European markets also moved mostly lower on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index bucked the downtrend and inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index fell by 0.6 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.0 percent.

Crude oil futures fell sharply on Thursday amid concerns about outlook for energy demand, and on reports about a tentative deal between rail road union and its workers to avert a potentially disastrous rail strike in the U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended lower by $3.38 or about 3.8% at $85.10 a barrel, the lowest settlement since September 8.

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