Asian Markets Mixed In Cautious Trades

Asian Markets Mixed In Cautious Trades

November 17, 2023

With the mood remaining a bit cautious amid concerns about interest rates and the impact of higher borrowing costs on global economic growth, Asian stock markets are trading mixed, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday. The Moody’s downgrading its ratings outlook on the US government from stable to negative is also weighing on the markets. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday.

Traders are also cautious ahead of US inflation data later in the week, with reports on consumer and producer prices likely to be in focus as traders look for additional clues about the outlook for interest rates.

After opening in the green, the Australian stock market is currently trading modestly lower on Monday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,000.00 mark, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with traders cautiously awaiting a slew of domestic economic data later in the week that will provide cues on the outlook for interest rates.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 5.50 points or 0.08 percent to 6,971.00, after hitting a low of 6,957.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 8.70 points or 0.12 percent to 7,167.90. Australian stocks closed notably lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are edging up 0.5 percent each, while Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Origin Energy is gaining 1.5 percent and Beach energy is edging up 0.3 percent, while Santos is losing almost 1 percent. Woodside Energy is flat.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block and WiseTech Global are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Appen is adding more than 1 percent and Zip is advancing almost 3 percent. Xero is losing almost 2 percent.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Gold Road Resources and Evolution Mining are edging down 0.2 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is losing almost 1 percent. Resolute Mining is gaining more than 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.1 percent and National Australia Bank is gaining more than 1 percent, while ANZ Banking is losing more than 3 percent and Westpac edging down 0.4 percent.

In other news, shares in TPG Telecom tumbled more than 11 percent after it ceased discussions with Vocus to purchase TPG’s Vision Network and other enterprise assets.

Shares in Boral are surging almost 6 percent after upgrading its financial year 2024 earnings guidance.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.636 on Monday.

Recouping the losses in the previous session, the Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday. The Nikkei 225 is moving a tad above the 32,700 level, with gains across most sectors led by technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,750.41, up 182.30 points or 0.56 percent, after touching a high of 32,913.31 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.4 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing more than 1 percent, while Toyota is gaining almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining more than 2 percent, while Advantest and Tokyo Electron are adding almost 3 percent each.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is advancing almost 2 percent.

The major exporters are mixed. Canon is gaining almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 1 percent, while Panasonic is edging down 0.4 percent and Sony is losing almost 1 percent.

Among other major gainers, Mitsui Mining & Smelting is soaring almost 9 percent, while Isuzu Motors and Credit Saison are surging more than 6 percent. Sapporo Holdings is gaining almost 6 percent, while TDK and Dowa Holdings are adding almost 5 percent each. Sumco, Kuraray, Asahi Group, Resona Holdings, JTEKT, Fujikura and Trend Micro are advancing more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Shiseido is plummeting more than 14 percent, Nitori Holdings is plunging more than 6 percent, Nissan Chemical is slipping 6.5 percent, JGC Holdings is losing almost 4 percent, Recruit Holdings is declining more than 3 percent and Nissan Motor is down almost 3 percent.

In economic news, producer prices in Japan were down 0.4 percent on month in October, the Bank of Japan said on Monday – after easing an upwardly revised 0.2 percent in September (originally -0.3 percent). On a yearly basis, producer prices rose 0.8 percent – slowing from the upwardly revised 2.2 percent in the previous month (originally 2.0 percent).

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 151 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is up 1.1 percent, Hong Kong and Indonesia are up 0.1 and 0.3 percent respectively. New Zealand, China, South Korea, are lower by between 0.1 and 0.2 percent each, Malaysia and Singapore are closed for Deepavali holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved showed a substantial move back to the upside during trading on Friday, following the sharp pullback seen Thursday afternoon. The Nasdaq surged to a nearly two-month closing high, while the Dow and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in well over a month.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session near their best levels of the day. The Nasdaq soared 276.66 points or 2.1 percent to 13,798.11, the S&P 500 spiked 67.89 points or 1.6 percent to 4,415.24 and the Dow jumped 391.16 points or 1.2 percent to 34,283.10.

Meanwhile, the major European markets showed significant moves to downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slumped 1.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slid by 1.0 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.8 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Friday, but the most active oil futures contract still suffered a third weekly loss as the disruption threats continued to fade. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.43 or 1.9 percent at $77.17 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed more than 4 percent in the week.

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