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Asian Markets Mostly Lower

asian martket down 121418 24nov22 lt

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Friday, despite the broadly positive cues from European markets overnight, as traders largely refrained from making significant moves amid a lack of fresh triggers with the U.S. market remaining closed for Thanksgiving Day. Traders are also concerned about the surge in COVID cases in China weighing on global growth. Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Friday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,300 level, following the broadly positive cues from European markets overnight, as traders remain optimistic the US Fed will scale down the pace of its interest rate increases. Technology and financial stocks are leading the gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 19.50 points or 0.27 percent to 7,261.30, after touching a high of 7,268.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 17.80 points or 0.24 percent to 7,450.50. Australian markets ended slightly higher on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group is losing more than 1 percent, Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.5 percent, Rio Tinto is slipping almost 1 percent, Mineral Resources is declining almost 4 percent and OZ Minerals is edging down 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are mixed. Santos and Beach energy are losing almost 1 percent each, while Woodside Energy is adding more than 1 percent and Origin Energy is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global and Zip are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Xero is up more than 1 percent, Afterpay owner Block is edging up 0.2 percent and Appen is advancing more than 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are also edging up 0.4 to 0.5 percent each.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are edging down 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Evolution Mining is losing almost 1 percent. Gold Road Resources is edging up 0.3 percent and Resolute Mining is gaining almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.677 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Friday, giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 staying above the 28,300 level, despite the broadly positive cues from European markets overnight, as traders reacted to data showing core consumer prices in Tokyo surged to a 40-year high in November.

Traders also indulged in profit taking after the recent rally amid optimism the US Fed will scale down the pace of its interest rate hikes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,286.94, down 96.15 points or 0.34 percent, after hitting a low of 28,273.63. Japanese stocks closed significantly higher on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.3 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are v each, while Screen Holdings is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among major exporters, Canon is edging up 0.1 percent, while Sony and Panasonic is losing almost 1 percent each. Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.5 percent.

Among the other major losers, Dentsu Group is losing more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Fukuoka Financial and Tokyo Electric Power are gaining more than 4 percent each, while CyberAgent is adding more than 3 percent and Fujikura is up almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 138 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.9 percent each, while New Zealand and China are up 0.3 and 0.5 percent, respectively. Taiwan is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, the markets were off on Monday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and will return to action on Friday.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. Germany's DAX climbed 0.78 percent and France's CAC 40 gained 0.42 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up 0.02 percent.

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