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Asian Markets Exhibit Mixed Trend


Asian stock markets are mixed on Wednesday despite the positive cues overnight from Wall Street as lingering worries about global economic growth weighed on investment sentiment. Overnight, long-term U.S. government bond yields pulled back off their best levels following the release of some disappointing U.S. economic data.

The Australian market is declining. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 25.30 points or 0.41 percent to 6,105.30, off a low of 6,102.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 22.80 points or 0.37 percent to 6,190.30. Australian shares closed little changed with a positive bias on Tuesday.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac - are lower in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent.

Gold miners are weak after gold prices declined overnight. Newcrest Mining is lower by almost 2 percent and Evolution Mining is declining 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, tech stocks are higher. Appen is higher by almost 2 percent, Xero is advancing more than 1 percent and Afterpay Touch is adding 1 percent.

In the mining space, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are adding 0.2 percent, while Fortescue Metals is rising almost 2 percent despite lower iron ore prices.

Rare earths miner Lynas Corp. said it will not engage with conglomerate Wesfarmers on its "highly conditional" A$1.5 billion takeover offer for the company. Shares of Lynas are advancing almost 1 percent, while Wesfarmers' shares are edging down 0.1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Oil Search is edging up 0.1 percent and Santos is higher by 0.6 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is down 0.3 percent even as crude oil prices rose overnight.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S dollar on Wednesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7137, up from $0.7122 on Tuesday.

The Japanese market is losing, as shares that lost their rights to receive dividends weighed on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 115.35 points or 0.54 percent to 21,313.04, after falling to a low of 21,249.46 earlier. Japanese stocks closed notably higher on Tuesday, recovering from steep losses in the previous session.

The major exporters are mostly lower despite a weaker yen. Sony is lower by 0.6 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic Electric are down 0.3 percent each. Canon is advancing almost 1 percent.

In the tech sector, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 1 percent, while Advantest is down 0.4 percent. Among the major automakers, Toyota is losing more than 2 percent and Honda is lower by 0.3 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down 0.1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is lower by almost 1 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is advancing almost 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is rising 0.4 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Cyberagent is gaining almost 5 percent, Taiyo Yuden is rising more than 2 percent and Chughai Pharmaceutical is advancing almost 2 percent.

On the flip side, Kansai Electric Power and Matsui Securities are losing more than 3 percent each, while Osaka Gas is lower by 3 percent and Concordia Financial is down more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 110 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are also lower. New Zealand is rising more than 1 percent, while Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong are also higher.

On Wall Street, stocks pulled back off their best levels, but closed firmly in positive territory on Tuesday. The initial rally on Wall Street was partly attributed to a rebound by bond yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note initially moving higher after falling sharply over the past few sessions. Buying interest waned over the course of the session, however, as bond yields pulled back off their best levels following the release of some disappointing U.S. economic data.

The Dow rose 140.90 points or 0.6 percent to 25,657.73, the Nasdaq advanced 53.98 points or 0.7 percent to 7,691.52 and the S&P 500 climbed 20.10 points or 0.7 percent to 2,818.46.

The major European markets all moved to the upside on Tuesday. While the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Tuesday, ahead of weekly oil inventory data. Crude for May delivery jumped $1.12 or 1.9 percent to close at $59.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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