Asian Markets Decline On Weak Global Cues
Asian stock markets are trading lower on Monday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets on Friday, as traders remain cautious and assess the impact of the crisis in the global banking sector, even as failing financial institutions secure a lifeline from peer institutions and central banks to avoid a global meltdown. Asian markets closed mostly higher Friday.
Traders also looked ahead to Wednesday’s US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement, expecting the Fed to raise interest rate by 25 basis points. CME Group’s FedWatch tool currently indicates a 43.2 percent chance the Fed will leave rates unchanged and a 56.8 percent chance of a 25 basis point rate hike.
The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Monday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 7,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from global markets on Friday, as traders continued to assess the impact of the crisis in the global banking sector. Gold miners were the bright spot amid a spike in gold prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 60.90 points or 0.87 percent to 6,933.90, after hitting a low of 6,932.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 69.90 points or 0.93 percent to 7,121.30. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Friday.
Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is gaining more than 1 percent and BHP Group is adding almost 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals, OZ Minerals and Mineral Resources are edging up 0.1 to 0.2 percent.
Oil stocks are mostly lower. Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are losing more than 1 percent each, while Santos is declining almost 1 percent. Beach energy is edging up 0.4 percent.
Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is losing almost 2 percent, Xero is down almost 1 percent, Appen is edging down 0.4 percent and Afterpay owner Block is declining more than 1 percent, while Zip is gaining more than 1 percent.
Gold miners are sharply higher. Gold Road Resources is soaring almost 10 percent, Evolution Mining is surging almost 11 percent, Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 8 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding almost 7 percent and Resolute Mining is advancing almost 8 percent.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is gaining almost 1 percent, while National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.670 on Monday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Monday, giving up some of the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,200 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets on Friday, as traders continued to assess the impact of the crisis in the global banking sector.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,106.34, down 227.45 or 0.83 percent, after hitting a low of 27,103.13 earlier. Japanese shares ended significantly higher on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing 1.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 1 percent and Toyota is also down almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Advantest are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down almost 1 percent.
In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.5 percent.
The major exporters are lower. Canon and Panasonic are losing almost 1 percent each, while Sony is edging up 0.3 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is flat.
Among the other major losers, Sapporo Holdings is losing almost 4 percent, while Daiichi Sankyo, Isetan Mitsukoshi and Nippon Yusen K.K. are declining almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, there are no other major gainers.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 132 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is slipping 1.8 percent and New Zealand is down 1.1 percent, while South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each. China is bucking the trend and is up 0.4 percent.
On Wall Street, stocks pulled back sharply during trading on Friday after moving sharply higher over the course of Thursday’s session. The major averages all showed notable moves to the downside on the day, with the Nasdaq snapping a four-day winning streak.
The major averages finished the session off their worst levels but still firmly negative. The Dow tumbled 384.57 points or 1.2 percent to 31,861.98, the Nasdaq slid 86.76 points or 0.7 percent to 11,630.51 and the S&P 500 slumped 43.64 points or 1.1 percent to 3,916.64.
The major European markets also showed notable moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slumped 1.0 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices sank Friday as rising concerns about the health of the banking sector continued to fuel worries about economic growth and the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April dropped $1.61 or 2.4 percent at $66.74 a barrel. WTI crude futures tumbled 13 percent in the week.
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