Asian Markets Trading Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Friday, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders cashed in on the recent strength in the markets and on news of Chinese property developer Evergrande defaulted on US dollar bonds. Traders are also concerned after several countries across the world announced stricter restrictions on movements to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.

Traders are now looking ahead to U.S. inflation data and next week’s U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement for cues on the economy. Reports suggest the Fed could decide to double the pace of tapering its asset purchase program to $30 billion per month.

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Friday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 below the 7,400 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders booked profits after the recent rally and on news of Chinese property developer Evergrande defaulted on the US dollar bonds again.

Traders are also concerned after several countries across the world announced stricter restrictions on movements to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

New South Wales reported 516 new cases on Thursday, with no new Omicron cases. Victoria also reported 1,206 new cases and two deaths, with no Omicron cases.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 35.20 points or 0.48 percent to 7,349.30, after hitting a low of 7,344.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 35.40 points or 0.46 percent to 7,654.00. Australian markets ended modestly lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto and Mineral Resources are adding almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is declining almost 1 percent and OZ Minerals is edging down 0.4 percent. BHP Group is flat.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Oil Search and Santos are losing almost 2 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum is down almost 1 percent and Beach energy is declining more than 2 percent. Origin Energy is gaining almost 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Xero is losing more than 1 percent, Afterpay is declining almost 4 percent, Appen is down almost 1 percent and Zip is slipping more than 3 percent, while WiseTech Global is gaining more than 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, Westpac is edging down 0.4 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.3 percent. ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are flat.

Gold miners are mixed. Resolute Mining is losing almost 1 percent, while Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are down more than 1 percent each. Evolution Mining is gaining more than 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is adding almost 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.715 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is trading modestly lower on Friday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 just below the 28,600 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders booked profits after the recent rally and on news of Chinese property developer Evergrande defaulting on US dollar bonds.

Traders are also concerned after several countries across the world announced stricter restrictions on movements to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,609.84, down 115.63 points or 0.40 percent, after hitting a low of 28,483.63 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is flat. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging down 0.3 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.4 percent and Screen Holdings is declining more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging down 0.2 percent each, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is flat.

Among major exporters, Panasonic is gaining 1.5 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 1 percent, while Sony is edging down 0.5 percent. Canon is flat.

Among the other major losers, Recruit Holdings is sliding more than 5 percent and Mitsubishi Motors is losing almost 4 percent, while BANDAI NAMCO Holdings and Citizen Watch are down more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Toppan is gaining almost 5 percent.

In economic news, producer prices in Japan were up 0.6 percent on month in November, the Bank of Japan said on Friday. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 0.3 percent following the upwardly revised 1.4 percent gain in October (originally 1.2 percent). On a yearly basis, producer prices soared 9.0 percent – again beating forecasts for 8.5 percent and up from 8.0 percent in the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-113 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each. Malaysia is bucking the trend and is edging up 0.1 percent. New Zealand is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Thursday, giving back ground after closing higher for three straight days. The Nasdaq showed a significant moves to the downside, while the Dow ended the day nearly flat.

The Nasdaq tumbled 269.62 points or 1.7 percent to 15,517.37 and the S&P 500 slid 33.76 points or 0.7 percent to 4,667.45. Meanwhile, the Dow edged down by just 0.06 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 35,754.69.

The major European markets all also moved modestly lower on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

Crude oil settled lower Thursday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand following several countries imposing fresh restrictions on movements to curb the spread of Omicron. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January sank $1.42 or 2 percent at $70.94 a barrel.

Source: Read Full Article