Asian Markets Track Wall Street Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders remain concerned aver the outlook for the global economy amid the energy crisis in Europe and the report of fresh COVID-19 related lockdowns in China following new virus outbreaks, with the sixth-largest city Chengdu entering full lockdown. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher in choppy trading on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,800 level, despite the broadly negative cues from Wall Street on Friday, with strength is mining and energy stocks amid a rebound in commodity prices.

Traders also await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision on Tuesday, with the RBA widely tipped to raise interest rates by another 50 basis points.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 4.40 points or 0.06 percent to 6,833.10, after touching a high of 6,858.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 0.70 points or 0.01 percent to 7,057.00. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is up almost 1 percent, Rio Tinto is adding 1.5 percent and OZ Minerals is edging up 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos is gaining more than 2 percent, Beach energy is surging almost 5 percent, Origin Energy is adding almost 1 percent and Woodside Energy is advancing almost 3 percent.

Among tech stocks, Xero is edging down 0.1 percent, Zip is down almost 1 percent, Afterpay owner Block is losing more than 3 percent and WiseTech Global is slipping 3.5 percent, while Appen and WiseTech Global are edging up 0.2 percent each.

Gold miners are mostly higher, Gold Road Resources is gaining almost 4 percent, Evolution Mining is adding more than 3 percent, Newcrest Mining is up more than 1 percent, Resolute Mining is rising almost 1 percent and Northern Star Resources is advancing almost 2 percent.

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

In economic news, the services sector in Australia continued to expand in August, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from S&P Global revealed on Monday with a services PMI score of 50.2. That’s down from 50.9 in July, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the composite index fell to 50.2 in August from 51.1 in July.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.678 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Monday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,600 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street on Friday, with weakness in exporters and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,610.75, down 40.09 or 0.14 percent, after hitting a low of 27,511.68 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.4 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing more than 1 percent and Toyota is down almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest, Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are losing almost 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is flat and Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.3 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are mostly weak, with Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric losing almost 1 percent each, while Sony is edging down 0.2 percent. Canon is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among the other major losers, Subaru, Keisei Electric Railway, Maruha Nichiro, Odakyu Electric Railway and Denso are losing more than 2 percent each.

Conversely, NEXON is soaring almost 9 percent, JGC Holdings is gaining 4.5 percent, Toppan is adding more than 3 percent and Ebara is up 2.5 percent.

In economic news, the services sector fell into contraction territory in August, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Monday with a services PMI score of 49.5. That’s down from 50.3 in June and it moves beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the composite index fell to 49.4 in July from 50.2 in June.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 140 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.7 percent, while New Zealand, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.1 and 0.3 percent each. Singapore and Indonesia are up 0.3 and 0.5 percent, respectively.

On Wall Street, stocks regained ground in morning trading on Friday but once again came under pressure over the course of the trading day after trending lower in recent sessions. The major averages pulled back well off their early highs and into negative territory.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but remained sharply lower. The Dow tumbled 337.98 points or 1.1 percent to 31,318.44, the Nasdaq tumbled 154.26 points or 1.3 percent to 11,630.87 and the S&P 500 clumped 42.59 points or 1.1 percent to 3,924.26.

Meanwhile, the major European markets showed substantial moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index soared by 3.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index shot up by 2.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped 1.9 percent.

Crude oil prices ticked higher Friday on rising prospects for a reduction in output from OPEC and allies. But prices were down for the week amid worries about outlook for energy demand due to concerns about slowing global growth. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September rose $0.26 or 0.3 percent at $86.87 a barrel; they were down 6.7 percent in the week.

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