Asian Markets Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Tuesday following the mixed cues from Wall Street and on lower commodity prices. Worries about a second wave of COVID-19 infections as several countries start to emerge from lockdowns also weighed on the markets. China, Germany and South Korea have reported new clusters of coronavirus cases, highlighting the potential threat of reopening economies too quickly.

Concerns about a trade row emerged after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “not interested” in renegotiating the Phase 1 trade deal with China.

The Australian market is declining.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 45.70 points or 0.84 percent to 5,415.50, after touching a low of 5,406.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 47.00 points or 0.85 percent to 5,512.10. Australian stocks closed higher on Monday.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is lower by more than 2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Santos are declining more than 1 percent each, after crude oil prices fell more than 2 percent overnight.

In the mining space, BHP and Fortescue Metals are declining more than 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto is down almost 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is lower by more than 1 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are declining almost 1 percent each. Commonwealth Bank is down 0.6 percent.

Gold miners are weak after gold prices declined overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is lower by 0.6 percent.

Amcor reported a 10.8 percent increase in profit for the nine-month period and raised its full-year earnings growth outlook range. The packaging provider’s shares are advancing almost 1 percent.

CSR reported a 61 percent jump in full-year profit despite lower revenues and said it will not pay a final dividend due to the uncertain economic environment. The construction materials supplier’s shares are gaining more than 10 percent.

Premier Investments said its total sales for the six weeks to May 6 fell 74 percent as a result of store closures, while online sales doubled in the period. The owner of Just Jeans and Peter Alexander brands added it will reopen all its New Zealand stores from May 14 and its remaining Australian stores from May 15. The company’s shares are rising more than 2 percent.

In economic news, Australia will provide March figures for home loans and March results for the business confidence index from NAB today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6465, down from Monday’s close of $0.6540.

The Japanese market is modestly higher in volatile trading.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 21.99 points or 0.11 percent to 20,412.65, after touching a low of 20,293.97 earlier. Japanese shares hit a two-month high on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is adding 0.5 percent, while Fast Retailing is declining more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mixed despite a weaker yen. Panasonic is losing 2 percent and Canon is lower by more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 1 percent and Sony is adding 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is up 0.4 percent. Among automakers, Honda is declining more than 3 percent and Toyota is down almost 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent, while Inpex is declining more than 1 percent after crude oil prices dipped more than 2 percent overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Tokai Carbon is gaining almost 5 percent and Toyobo Co. is higher by almost 4 percent. Sumco Corp., Yamato Holdings and Osaka Gas are all rising more than 3 percent each.

On the flip side, Isetan Mitsukoshi is tumbling more than 8 percent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is lower by more than 6 percent and Mitsui OSK Lines is losing more than 4 percent.

On the economic front, Japan will release preliminary March numbers for its leading and coincident economic indexes today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 107 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong are losing more than 1 percent each, while South Korea and Taiwan are lower by almost 1 percent each. Shanghai, Indonesia and Malaysia are also lower, while New Zealand is little changed.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Monday before eventually ending mixed. Reports of new clusters of coronavirus cases in China, South Korea and Germany raised worries about the potential threats of reopening the economy too quickly. The concerns waned over the course of the session, however, with traders continuing to express optimism about a quick economic recovery as some states around the U.S. have already begun to reopen.

The Nasdaq climbed 71.02 points or 0.8 percent to 9,192.34, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.39 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,930.19 and the Dow fell 109.33 points or 0.5 percent to 24,221.99.

The major European markets also closed mixed on Monday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while the German DAX Index fell by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

Crude oil prices slid on Monday amid concerns about outlook for energy demand due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic even as several countries across the world announced plans to reopen their economies. WTI crude for June ended down $0.64 or about 2.4 percent at $24.14 a barrel.

Source: Read Full Article