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Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trades

asiancommentary dec03 20oct22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Friday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with traders remaining cautious as concerns about the outlook for interest rates continue to drive global yields higher. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar retreated and shed a bit of ground against most of its Asian major counterparts. Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday.

China's status quo on interest rates and concerns about economic growth in China also dampened sentiment. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is likely to relax some quarantine restrictions, moving away somewhat from its zero-Covid policy.

The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Friday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 6,700 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with weakness across most sectors, led by financial stocks, amid surging global bond yields.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 38.40 points or 0.57 percent to 6,692.30, after hitting a low of 6,667.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 33.20 points or 0.48 percent to 6,885.50. Australian markets ended significantly lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, Mineral Resources is edging down 0.3 percent and Rio Tinto is losing almost 1 percent, while OZ Minerals is edging up 0.4 percent. Fortescue Metals and BHP Group are flat.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Origin Energy is losing 2.5 percent, while Woodside Energy and Santos are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each. Beach energy is adding more than 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Appen is losing more than 1 percent, WiseTech Global is declining almost 2 percent and Xero is down almost 1 percent, while Afterpay owner Block is gaining almost 1 percent. Appen Zip is flat.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are losing almost 2 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are declining more than 2 percent each.

Gold miners are mixed. Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.1 percent and Evolution Mining is declining almost 3 percent, while Resolute Mining is gaining more than 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is adding almost 1 percent. Northern Star Resources is flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.628 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Friday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with traders cautious after release of domestic inflation data that came in line with expectations and unchanged from last month. The yen also breached the 150 level against the dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,951.59, down 55.37 points or 0.21 percent, after hitting a low of 26,875.36. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are losing almost 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding almost 4 percent and Screen Holdings is up almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is flat.

Among major exporters, Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are edging up 0.4 to 0.5 percent each, while Panasonic is edging down 0.2 percent and Sony is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, Tokyo Gas is losing more than 3 percent and Keio is down almost 3 percent.

Conversely, there are no other major gainers.

In economic news, consumer prices in Japan were up 3.0 percent on year in September, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the August reading. Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile prices of food, also increased 3.0 percent on year. That matched forecasts and was up from 2.8 percent in the previous month. On a monthly basis, overall inflation rose 0.3 percent - in line with expectations and unchanged from the August reading.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 150 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are lower by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each, while China, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.6 percent each. New Zealand and Hong Kong are relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a significant downturn over the course of the trading session on Thursday after failing to sustain an early rally. The major averages pulled back well off their highs of the session and into negative territory.

The major averages all closed in the red, although the Dow posted a relatively modest loss. While the Nasdaq fell 65.66 points or 0.6 percent to 10,614.84 and the S&P 500 slid 29.38 points or 0.8 percent to 3,665.78, the narrower Dow dipped 90.22 points or 0.3 percent to 30,333.59.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures for November delivery settled higher on their expiration day as traders weighed energy demand and supply positions. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November rose $0.43 or 0.5 percent at $85.98 a barrel on the expiration day. But WTI Crude oil futures for December eased to $84.51 a barrel.

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