Asian Markets Showing Mixed Trend

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Monday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, reacting to sinking crude oil prices, disappointing U.S. monthly jobs data and uncertainty about the pace of global economic recovery amid continued surge in coronavirus cases. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

The U.S. Labor Department’s report suggests that the delta variant of the coronavirus is weighing on the labor market, although the data could also lead the Federal Reserve to push back its plans to begin scaling back stimulus.

Fed officials have indicated inflation has reached their target but they need to see further improvement in the labor market before they begin tapering asset purchases and raising interest rates.

The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Monday, giving up the modest gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 7,500 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday on disappointing U.S. jobs data and sinking crude oil prices. The worsening domestic coronavirus situation, primarily in New South Wales and Victoria, is also weighing in investor sentiment.

NSW reported 1,281 new cases on Sunday. Victoria also recorded 246 new locally acquired cases, with the total active cases of COVID-19 across Victoria standing at 1,619.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 46.50 points or 0.62 percent to 7,476.40, after hitting a low of 7,440.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 54.90 points or 0.70 percent to 7,771.80. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group, Rio Tinto and OZ Minerals are edging down 0.2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is losing almost 1 percent. Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent.

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

Santos and Oil Search have agreed to extend their period of exclusive due diligence for another week before finalising a $22 billion merger deal.

Among tech stocks, Appen is gaining almost 3 percent and Afterpay is edging up 0.5 percent, while Xero is edging down 0.3 percent and WiseTech Global is losing more than 1 percent.

Gold miners are higher. Evolution Mining is gaining more than 2 percent, while Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources are adding almost 2 percent each. Gold Road Resources is up more than 1 percent and Resolute Mining is rising 1.5 percent.

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

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.743 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous five sessions, with the Nikkei 225 surging more than 500 points to move above the 29,600 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders pin hopes on a new government to implement new economic measures to alleviate the prolonged impact of the pandemic, following Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s decision to step down.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,638.17, up 510.06 points or 1.75 percent, after touching a high of 29,692.68 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining 1.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is up almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.3 percent and Toyota is gaining more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are gaining more than 2 percent each, while Screen Holdings is adding more than 3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are gaining more than 1 percent each.

The major exporters are higher, with Panasonic gaining more than 2 percent and Canon edging up 0.2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are rising almost 1 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Nippon Yusen K.K. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are gaining more than 7 percent each, while Alps Alpine and Toho Zinc are adding more than 6 percent each. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Japan Exchange Group are up almost 6 percent each. Konami Holdings and KDDA are rising almost 5 percent each. Ebara and Yamaha are adding more than 4 percent each, while Taiyo Yuden and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Seiko Epson, Yamaha Motor and Kubota are up 3.5 percent.

Conversely, Kansai Electric Power is losing more than 3 percent and Chubu Electric Power is down almost 2 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 109 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.4 percent each, while China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are higher by between 0.2 and 0.5 percent each

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Friday, with traders showing some uncertainty about the repercussions of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs. Despite the choppy trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq reached a new record closing high.

The major averages finished the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq rose 32.34 points or 0.2 percent to 15,363.52, the Dow dipped 74.73 points or 0.2 percent to 35,369.09 and the S&P 500 edged down 1.52 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,535.43.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved lower over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both slid both 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday amid worries about demand following the smaller than expected increase in U.S. non-farm payrolls last month. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures ended down $0.70 or 1 percent at $69.29 a barrel; WTI crude futures gained 0.8 percent in the week.

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