Asian Markets Track Wall Street Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders remained cautious ahead of the release of a key report on US consumer price inflation later in the day, which will offer clues on the outlook for interest rates. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

The CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently indicating an 87.0 percent chance the Fed will leave rates unchanged following its next meeting scheduled for September 19-20.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,300 level, despite the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains in energy stocks partially offset by losses in financial and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 6.50 points or 0.09 percent to 7,344.50, after hitting a low of 7,320.90 and a high of 7,346.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 12.20 points or 0.16 percent to 7,555.60. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group, Mineral Resources and Fortescue Metals are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while is flat. Rio Tinto is edging down 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos is gaining almost 2 percent, Beach energy is advancing more than 2 percent and Woodside Energy is adding more than 1 percent, while Origin Energy is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is edging down 0.3 percent, WiseTech Global is losing almost 2 percent, Xero is declining 2.5 percent and Appen is plunging more than 5 percent. Zip is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is losing more than 1 percent, while Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are edging down 0.5 percent each.

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining is edging down 0.5 percent and Newcrest Mining is losing more than 1 percent, while Gold Road Resources, Northern Star Resources and Resolute Mining are down almost 1 percent each.

In other news, shares in Cettire are soaring almost 16 percent after the luxury retailer’s full-year revenues doubled from last year.

Shares in Boral are surging more than 6 percent after the building materials company reported a double-digit increase in full-year revenues, despite a steep drop in net profit. It also sees higher earnings in 2024 on strong demand and higher commodity prices.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.654 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Thursday after being in the red most of the morning session, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 32,300 level, despite the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders reacted to data showing producer prices in Japan slowed for the seventh consecutive month in July and also rose the least in more than two years.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,338.95, up 134.62 points or 0.42 percent, after touching a high of 32,353.13 and a low of 32,015.96 earlier. Japanese stocks closed notably lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is also edging up 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is edging up 0.5 percent and Honda is surging more than 6 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is losing almost 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is declining more than 2 percent and Advantest is slipping almost 3 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining more than 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.4 percent, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.2 percent.

Among the major exporters, Canon is edging up 0.5 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is gaining more than 2 percent and Panasonic is adding almost 1 percent, while Sony is declining almost 6 percent.

Among other major gainers, Inpex is skyrocketing almost 17 percent, Nippon Sheet Glass is soaring almost 16 percent, NEXON is surging more than 11 percent and FUJIFILM is gaining almost 7 percent, while J. Front Retailing and Secom are adding more than 5 percent each. Kuraray and Mitsui E&S are up almost 5 percent each, while Takashimaya, Isetan Mitsukoshi and ENEOS are rising almost 4 percent each. Asahi Group and Sompo Holdings are advancing more than 3 percent each, while Odakyu Electric Railway is up almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Olympus is plummeting more than 11 percent, Mitsubishi Materials is plunging more than 8 percent, DeNA is sliding more than 7 percent and Nippon Express is slipping more than 6 percent, while Pacific Metals and Recruit Holdings are losing almost 5 percent. Nikon is down almost 4 percent and Nippon Paper Industries is declining more than 3 percent, while Sharp, Haseko and Sumitomo Osaka Cement are down almost 3 percent each.

In economic news, producer prices in Japan were up 0.1 percent on month in July, the Bank of Japan said on Thursday. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent following the upwardly revised 0.1 percent decline in June (originally -0.2 percent). On a yearly basis, producer prices climbed 3.6 percent, topping forecasts for 3.5 percent and down from the upwardly revised 4.3 percent increase in the previous month (originally 4.1 percent).

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 143 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is down 1.4 percent, while New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each. China and Indonesia are up 0.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday before ending the day mostly lower. The major averages all moved to the downside, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 falling to their lowest closing levels in a month.

The major averages came under pressure going into the close, finishing the session firmly in the red. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 162.31 points or 1.2 percent to 13,722.02, the S&P 500 slid 31.67 points or 0.7 percent to 4,467.71 and the Dow fell 191.13 points or 0.5 percent at 35,123.36.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, extending recent gains as output cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia continued to raise concerns about supply. West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery jumped $1.48 pr 1.8 percent to $84.40 a barrel.

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