Asian Markets Trade Mixed


Mirroring the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, Asian stock markets are also trading mixed on Thursday, as traders reacted to the US dollar’s continued strength against major Asian currencies and the jump in crude oil prices to one year highs. Rising concerns about interest rates and the outlook for global economic growth also weigh on the markets. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

The Australian market is back in the red after treading briefly in the green on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions and following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,000 mark, with gains in iron ore miner stocks and energy stocks more than offset by losses in gold miner stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 3.70 point or 0.05 percent to 7,026.60, after hitting a low of 7,007.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down5.70 points or 0.08 percent to 7,224.10. Australian stocks ended slightly lower on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are adding more than 1 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos and Woodside Energy are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Beach energy is adding more than 3 percent. Origin Energy is edging down 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is losing more than 1 percent and WiseTech Global is edging down 0.5 percent, while Appen is gaining more than 1 percent and Xero is edging up 0.5 percent. Zip is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank are edging down 0.1 to 0.4 percent each, while ANZ Banking is gaining more than 1 percent.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is declining more than 4 percent, Northern Star Resources is losing more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is slipping almost 2 percent and Gold Road Resources is down 1.5 percent, while Resolute Mining is gaining 1.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.637 on Thursday.

The Japanese market pared the gains in the previous session and is trading sharply lower on Thursday following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight. The Nikkei 225 fell below the 31,900 level, with losses in index heavyweights and technology stocks partially offset by gains in financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 31,813.01, down 558.89 points or 1.73 percent, after hitting a low of 31,797.38 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is also down almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is edging down 0.1 percent, while Honda is edging up 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.3 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down almost 1 percent and Screen Holdings is declining almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic is gaining 1.5 percent and Canon is adding more than 1 percent, while Sony is edging down 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is slipping almost 1 percent.

Among other major losers, ANA Holdings is losing more than 3 percent and Keio is declining almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Chugai Pharmaceutical is surging more than 5 percent, while Mitsui E&S, Mitsubishi Motors and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are gaining almost 5 percent each. Inpex is adding almost 4 percent and Kobe Steel is up more than 3 percent, while JGC Holdings, Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel are advancing almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 149 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.2 percent each, while New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia are lower by between 0.4 and 1.0 percent each. Singapore is relatively flat. South Korea is closed on account of Chuseok Festivity.

On Wall Street, stocks saw substantial volatility over the course of the trading day on Wednesday following the sell-off seen during Tuesday’s session. The major averages spent the day showing wild swings back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the day narrowly mixed. While the Dow slipped 68.61 points or 0.2 percent to a new three-month closing low of 33,550.27, the S&P 500 crept up 0.98 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,274.51 and the Nasdaq rose 29.24 points or 0.2 percent to 13,092.85.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures rose sharply on Wednesday after data showing an unexpected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week ended September 22 added to concerns about tightening supplies amid production cuts by OPEC and its allies. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November climbed $3.29 or about 3.6% to settle at $93.68 a barrel, the highest settlement since August 29, 2022.

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