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Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower

asiadown march18 21nov22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Tuesday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, as imposition of stringent restrictions and lockdowns in several cities in China, including Shanghai and Beijing, amid a surge in new COVID cases raised concerns about the outlook for the global economy. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday.

According to reports, three people died in Beijing over the weekend and the country logged a record jump in daily cases, despite a stringent zero-COVID policy. This marked the first Covid-related deaths that China's mainland has reported since May.

The potential nuclear crisis in the Russia-Ukraine conflict amid heavy shelling of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is weighing on the market.

Traders also cautiously looked ahead to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting for clues about the central bank's interest rate outlook.

The Australian stock market modestly higher on Tuesday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,200 level, despite the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, led by gains in mining and energy stocks amid firmer commodity prices. Traders also await the RBA Governor Philip Lowe's speech later in the day for clues on the outlook for domestic monetary policy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 47.00 points or 0.66 percent to 7,186.30, after touching a high of 7,187.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 46.50 points or 0.63 percent to 7,381.60. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Monday.

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

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Beach energy and Santos are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Woodside Energy is adding almost 2 percent and Origin Energy is up almost 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block and Appen are losing almost 4 percent each, while Xero is edging up 0.4 percent and WiseTech Global is adding almost 1 percent. Zip is declining 2.5 percent.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Resolute Mining is advancing almost 3 percent. Evolution Mining is edging down 0.2 percent and Gold Road Resources is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Westpac is edging up 0.3 percent. ANZ Banking is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.661 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher in choppy trading on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,100 level, despite the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,150.50, up 205.71 points or 0.74 percent, after touching a high of 28,203.35 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.3 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent and Toyota is adding more than 2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 1 percent, Screen Holdings is edging up 0.5 percent and Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining more than 1 percent, Mizuho Financial is adding almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.2 percent.

The major exporters are higher, with Sony and Canon gaining almost 1 percent each, while Panasonic is surging more than 4 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Mitsubishi Motors and Aeon are surging more than 4 percent each, while Nippon Sheet Glass and JFE Holdings are gaining almost 4 percent each. Sapporo Holdings, Tokyo Electric Power and Shionogi & Co. are adding more than 3 percent each, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, IHI, Marubeni, Tokyo Gas, JGC Holdings, Kobe Steel and Taisei are all up almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 141 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.0 percent, while New Zealand, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each. Singapore is bucking the trend and is up 0.4 percent. Taiwan is flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved back to the downside during trading on Monday after ending last Friday's choppy session mostly higher, stocks. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly steep drop after ending the preceding session little changed.

The major averages all finished the day in negative territory, although the Dow posted a relatively modest loss, edging down 45.41 points or 0.1 percent to 33,700.28. The Nasdaq tumbled 121.55 points or 1.1 percent at 11,024.51 and the S&P 500 slid 15.40 points or 0.4 percent to 3,949.94.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index slid by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices fell to a ten-month low on Monday but regained some lost ground and ended the day's session modestly lower. Worries about the outlook for demand from China contributed to the early slump by oil prices following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended lower by $0.35 or about 0.4 percent at $79.73 a barrel, off a low of $75.08 a barrel.

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