Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower
Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, as worries about slowing growth and soaring inflation continue to weigh on market sentiment. The US Fed minutes also reaffirmed the central bank’s plans to continue raising interest rates in an effort to return inflation to its 2 percent objective. Asian Markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday.
Further, the Fed minutes showed some participants also expressed concerns the Fed could tighten the stance of policy by more than necessary to restore price stability.
The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Thursday, giving up some of the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling a tad below the 7,100 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with the losses led by gold miners and technology stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.20 points or 0.30 percent to 7,106.50, after hitting a low of 7,081.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 29.60 points or 0.40 percent to 7,351.50. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Wednesday.
Among major miners, Mineral Resources and Fortescue Metals are losing almost 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto is edging down 0.4 percent. BHP Group and OZ Minerals are flat.
Oil stocks are mixed. Santos and Woodside Energy are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Beach energy is edging down 0.3 percent. Origin Energy is plunging more than 7 percent after it reported a $1.4 billion loss for the full-year 2022, hurt by a huge impairment charge..
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is slipping almost 6 percent, WiseTech Global is edging down 0.4 percent, Xero is losing more than 5 percent and Appen is down more than 1 percent. Zip is gaining almost 2 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging down 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while ANZ Banking are losing more than 1 percent. Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.3 percent.
Among gold miners, Evolution Mining, Gold Road Resources and Newcrest Mining are losing more than 3 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is sliding more than 4 percent and Resolute Mining is down almost 2 percent.
In other news, shares in IPH Ltd. are soaring almost 16 percent after agreeing to buy Canadian intellectual property firm Smart & Biggar for $387 million.
In economic news, the Australian economy lost 40,900 jobs in July, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday – well shy of forecasts that called for an addition of 25,000 jobs following the gain of 88,400 jobs in June. The jobless rate still fell to 3.4 percent, exceeding expectations for 3.5 percent – which would have been unchanged from the previous month. Approximately 86,900 full-time jobs were lost and 46,000 part-time jobs were added last month. The participation rate dropped to 66.4 percent – defying forecasts for 66.8 percent, which would have been unchanged.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.694 on Thursday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Thursday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 29,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors, particularly technology stocks, which tracked their peers on tech-heavy Nasdaq.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,984.56, down 238.21 points or 0.82 percent, after hitting a low of 28,846.52 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.4 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 1 percent and Toyota is down 1.5 percent.
In the tech space, Screen Holdings is losing almost 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron and Advantest are down more than 1 percent each.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are losing almost 1 percent each, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.3 percent.
Among the major exporters, Canon is losing almost 1 percent and Sony is down more than 1 percent, while Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are declining almost 2 percent each.
Among the other major losers, Recruit Holdings is losing almost 3 percent.
Conversely, Nippon Sheet Glass is gaining more than 4 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 134 yen-range on Thursday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are lower by between 0.3 and 0.8 percent each, while Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks staged a recovery attempt in afternoon trading on Wednesday but still ended the day firmly in negative territory, after coming under pressure early in the session. The major averages all moved to the downside following the mixed performance seen on Tuesday.
The major averages pulled back well off their recovery highs going into the close. The Dow fell 171.69 points or 0.5 percent to 33,98.32, the Nasdaq slumped 164.43 points or 1.3 percent to 12,938.12 and the S&P 500 slid 31.16 points or 0.7 percent at 4,274.04.
The major European markets all also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index tumbled 2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent.
Crude oil prices climbed higher Wednesday, lifted by data showing declines in crude and gasoline inventories in the U.S. last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended higher by $1.58 or 1.8 percent at $88.11 a barrel.
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