Asian Markets Extend Losses

Asian stock markets are extending losses on Friday from the previous session despite the overnight gains on Wall Street, as worries about the outlook for tech companies weighed on the markets. Tech giant Apple’s suppliers in the Asian region are notably lower.

Investors also remained cautious due to the surging coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe and as they looked ahead to the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

The Australian market drifted lower after a positive start following the overnight gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is declining 10.50 points or 0.18 percent to 5,949.80, after touching a high of 5,986.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 14.70 points or 0.24 percent to 6,153.30. Australian stocks closed at a fresh three-week low on Thursday.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is gaining more than 5 percent, Rio Tinto is advancing more than 1 percent and BHP Group is adding 0.3 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are higher in a range of 1.1 percent to 1.6 percent, while Westpac is adding 0.5 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher even as crude oil prices lost more than 3 percent overnight. Santos and Woodside Petroleum are rising more than 1 percent each, while Oil Search is up 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, gold miners are lower after safe-haven gold prices declined overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is edging down 0.1 percent.

Shares of AMP Ltd. are gaining almost 21 percent after the financial services company said it has received a takeover bid from U.S. investment group Ares Corporation.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia said that private sector credit in Australia was up 0.1 percent on month in September, following the flat reading in August.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that final demand producer prices in Australia were up 0.4 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2020, following the 1.2 percent drop in the previous three months.

The Japanese market is extending losses to a fifth straight session.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 192.37 points or 0.82 percent to 23,139.57, after touching a low of 23,118.00 earlier.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is down 0.2 percent, while Fast Retailing is edging up 0.1 percent.

Apple suppliers in Japan are notably lower after the tech giant reported a decline in third-quarter revenue from iPhones and also did not provide any outlook for the holiday quarter.

Kyocera is tumbling more than 8 percent and Alps Alpine is losing almost 4 percent, while Minebea Mitsumi and Nitto Denko are lower by almost 2 percent each.

The major exporters are mixed despite a weaker yen. Panasonic is rising more than 4 percent and Canon is adding more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is lower by almost 4 percent and Sony is declining almost 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is lower by almost 1 percent and Honda is declining 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is climbing more than 10 percent, while Tokyo Electron is lower by almost 2 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Seiko Epson is climbing more than 10 percent, and Konica Minolta is gaining more than 7 percent, while AGC and Fanuc are higher by more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Omron Corp. is lower by almost 5 percent, while Takeda Pharmaceutical and Oki Electric are declining more than 4 percent each.

On the economic front, industrial output in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 4.0 percent on month in September. That exceeded expectations for a gain of 3.2 percent following the 1.0 percent increase in August.

Overall inflation in the Tokyo region of Japan was down 0.3 percent on year in October, in line with expectations following the 0.2 percent increase in September.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent in September. That was shy of forecasts for 3.1 percent and was unchanged from the August reading.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 104 yen-range on Friday.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Thursday, reflecting gains by tech stocks and the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing a stronger than expected rebound by the U.S. economy in the third quarter. Adding to the positive sentiment, the Labor Department released a report showing initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since before the coronavirus-induced lockdowns in the week ended October 24.

The Dow climbed 139.16 points or 0.5 percent to 26,659.11, the Nasdaq jumped 180.72 points or 1.6 percent to 11,185.59, and the S&P 500 surged up 39.08 points or 1.2 percent at 3,310.11.

The major European markets showed a lack of direction over the course of the session on Thursday. While the German DAX Index eventually closed up by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index ended the day nearly unchanged.

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Thursday amid concerns over the outlook for energy demand due to a continued surge in coronavirus cases and tighter lockdown measures in several countries. WTI crude for December ended down $1.22 or about 3.3 percent at $36.17 a barrel, the lowest settlement in nearly five months.

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