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Asian Markets Mostly Lower

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Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Friday following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street amid a further decline in U.S. Treasury yields.

Overnight, the yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury note tumbled to its lowest closing level in three years, while the yield on 30-year U.S. treasuries fell below 2 percent for the first time ever. Worries about a prolonged U.S.-China trade war and a slowing global economy also weighed on sentiment.

The Australian market is little changed following the mixed cues from Wall Street after the yields on U.S. Treasury notes declined further.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is edging up 0.80 points or 0.01 percent to 6,408.90, after falling to a low of 6,404.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 1.70 points or 0.03 percent to 6,492.50. Australian stocks plunged on Thursday.

The major miners are mostly lower. Rio Tinto is declining 0.7 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by 0.5 percent, while BHP Group is edging up 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices extended losses overnight. Oil Search is losing more than 2 percent, Santos is lower by 0.7 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.4 percent.

The big four banks are mixed. ANZ Banking is declining 0.3 percent and National Australia Bank is down 0.1 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is advancing almost 1 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are also mixed, even as gold prices rose overnight. Evolution Mining is lower by 0.4 percent, while Newcrest Mining is rising 0.2 percent.

Newcrest Mining reported a 22 percent increase in full-year profit on higher revenues and raised its final dividend.

Telstra has sold its 49 percent stake in a newly established property trust to a consortium led by Charter Hall for A$700 million, but will retain a 51 percent controlling stake in the trust. The telecom giant's shares are declining 0.7 percent.

Seven West Media's chief executive Tim Worner has resigned with immediate effect and has been replaced by James Warburton as CEO and managing director. Shares of the company are rising more than 4 percent.

Cochlear reported a 13 percent increase in full-year profit and raised its dividend. Hearing implant maker's shares are gaining almost 4 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6775, compared to $0.6783 on Thursday.

The Japanese market has pared earlier losses and is now modestly lower.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 26.30 points or 0.13 percent to 20,379.35, after touching a low of 20,300.35 in early trades. Japanese shares closed lower on Thursday.

The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Mitsubishi Electric is lower by 0.5 percent, Sony is declining 0.3 percent and Canon is down 0.1 percent, while Panasonic is adding 0.6 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising 0.2 percent and Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 2 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is declining more than 1 percent and Fast Retailing is down 0.5 percent. In the auto sector, Honda Motor is lower by 0.3 percent and Toyota Motor is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Japan Petroleum and Inpex are higher by more than 1 percent each after crude oil prices extended losses overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Screen Holdings is rising more than 3 percent and Daiwa House Industry is gaining almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, Recruit Holdings is losing more than 3 percent, while Suzuki Motor, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Tokuyama Corp. are all lower by more than 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia are also lower, while Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan are higher.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Thursday in choppy trading as traders digested an avalanche of U.S. economic data, including mixed reports on retail sales and industrial production. The Commerce Department released a report showing U.S. retail sales climbed by much more than expected in July, while the Federal Reserve released a separate report unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in industrial production in July.

While the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged down 7.32 points or 0.1 percent to 7,766.62, the Dow climbed 99.97 points or 0.4 percent to 25,579.39 and the S&P 500 rose 7.00 points or 0.3 percent to 2,847.60.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on Thursday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.1 percent, the German DAX Index slid by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices saw further downside on Thursday, extending losses from the previous day on continued concerns about the outlook for global demand. West Texas Intermediate fell $0.48 or 0.87 percent to $54.47.

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