Asian Markets Mostly Lower Amid Cautious Trades

The cautious approach ahead of the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speeches later today and tomorrow is keeping Asian stock markets mostly lower on Wednesday, despite the broadly positive cues from the Wall Street overnight. Traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves and will pay close attention to the Powell’s statements for clues about the outlook for interest rates. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

Recouping some of the losses in the previous session, Australian shares are trading modestly higher on Wednesday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving to a tad below the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains in technology and financial stocks partially offset by losses in mining and energy stocks amid falling commodity prices on weaker than expected Chinese data.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 19.40 points or 0.28 percent to 6,996.50, after touching a high of 6,999.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 22.10 points or 0.31 percent to 7,198.70. Australian stocks ended modestly lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals is losing almost 2 percent, Mineral Resources is down almost 1 percent, BHP Group is declining almost 3 percent and Rio Tinto is slipping more than 3 percent.

Oil stocks are mixed. Woodside Energy and Santos are losing almost 1 percent each, while Origin Energy is gaining more than 1 percent and Beach energy is edging up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 3 percent, Zip is adding more than 1 percent, Appen is up 1.5 percent, WiseTech Global is advancing almost 3 percent and Xero is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is gaining more than 1 percent and Westpac is advancing almost 2 percent, while Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are adding almost 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources and Resolute Mining are losing more than 1 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is declining almost 2 percent and Evolution Mining is down 1.5 percent. Newcrest Mining is flat.

In other news, shares in James Hardie are surging almost 14 percent after the building materials company reported upbeat second-quarter results.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.644 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Wednesday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight. The Nikkei 225 moved above the 32,300 level, with gains in exporters and technology stocks partially offset by losses in financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,329.39, up 57.57 points or 0.18 percent, after touching a high of 32,512.17 earlier. Japanese stocks ended sharply lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.3 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining more than 1 percent, while Toyota is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.4 percent and Screen Holdings is adding more than 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are losing almost 3 percent each.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic and Sony are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Canon is edging up 0.2 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is flat.

Among other major gainers, Yokogawa Electric is skyrocketing almost 13 percent, Mazda Motor is soaring almost 12 percent, LY Corp. is surging almost 8 percent, Nintendo is advancing more than 6 percent and Suzuki Motor is gaining almost 5 percent, while GS Yuasa and Renesas Electronics are up almost 4 percent. Eisai is adding almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Tokai Carbon is plunging almost 10 percent, BANDAI NAMCO slipping almost 9 percent, Meiji Holdings is declining almost 8 percent and IHI is losing more than 6 percent, while Shimizu and Resonac Holdings are down more than 5 percent each. Yamaha Motor, Oji Holdings, Fukuoka Financial Group and T&D Holdings are sliding almost 5 percent each. Idemitsu Kosan, Dai-ichi Life, Concordia Financial and Resona Holdings are falling more than 4 percent each.

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

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore and Indonesia are down 1.5 and 1.1 percent, respectively, while New Zealand, South Korea and Malaysia lower by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each. Taiwan is up 0.5 percent. Hong Kong and China are relatively flat.

On the Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Tuesday, extending the upward trend seen over the past several sessions. With the continued advance, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in well over a month.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained in positive territory. The Nasdaq jumped 121.08 points or 0.9 percent to 13,639.86, the S&P 500 climbed 12.40 points or 0.3 percent to 4,378.38 and the Dow rose 56.74 points or 0.2 percent to 34,152.60.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices tumbled on Tuesday as concerns about the outlook for fuel demand offset recent decisions by Russia and Saudi Arabia to extend production cuts to the end of the year. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December sank $3.45 or 4.3 percent at $77.37 a barrel.

Source: Read Full Article