Asian Markets Trade Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, despite the broadly positive cues from the Wall Street on Friday, as traders remain concerned about a global recession as major central banks signaled their intent to move ahead with aggressive rate hikes to tame surging inflation. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday.

The Australian stock market is sharply higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 6,600 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with strength across most sectors, particularly financials, technology, materials and energy stocks.

Traders also brace for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy on Tuesday, where the RBA is again expected to deliver another half-point rate increase.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 75.90 points or 1.16 percent to 6,615.80, after touching a high of 6,659.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 76.60 points or 1.14 percent to 6,797.00. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is adding 1.5 percent and OZ Minerals is advancing more than 3 percent, while Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are gaining almost 2 percent each. BHP Group is edging down 0.4 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos is gaining more than 2 percent, Beach energy is adding 1.5 percent and Origin Energy is up more than 2 percent. Woodside Energy is advancing more than 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Xero is gaining more than 3 percent, Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 6 percent, Zip is adding more than 5 percent, WiseTech Global advancing almost 4 percent and Appen is up almost 2 percent.

Gold miners are strong, Gold Road Resources and Newcrest Mining are adding more than 3 percent each, while Resolute Mining is advancing 4.5 percent, Northern Star Resources is up almost 4 percent and . Evolution Mining is gaining more than 5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are gaining almost 2 percent each, while National Australia Bank is adding more than 2 percent.

In economic news, the value of owner-occupied home loans issued in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent on month in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics or ABS said on Monday, coming in at A$21.18 billion. That beat expectations for a decline of 2.0 percent on month following the 7.3 percent contraction in April.

The ABS also said Monday that the total number of building permits issued in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 9.9 percent in May, coming in at 16,390. That beat forecasts for a decline of 1.8 percent following the 2.4 percent contraction in April. On a yearly basis, permits for private sector houses tumbled 29.5 percent, permits for private sector buildings excluding houses shed 5.4 percent and overall permits dropped 20.9 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.681 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 breaking above the 26,00 mark, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, boosted by exporters and financial stocks. Traders also continue to pick up stocks at a bargain after the recent sell-off.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,085.07, up 149.45 or 0.58 percent, after touching a high of 26,258.86 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding almost 1 percent and Toyota is gaining more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 1 percent, Tokyo Electron is down 1.5 percent and Screen Holdings is declining almost 2 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging up 0.5 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.2 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher, with Sony is gaining almost 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent and Panasonic is up more than 1 percent, while Canon is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Electric Power is soaring almost 10 percent, while M3, Mitsubishi Corp., Rakuten Group, Recruit Holdings, Kansai Electric Power, Japan Exchange Group and Chubu Electric Power are gaining more than 6 percent each.

Conversely, J. Front Retailing is losing more than 5 percent, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is slipping more than 4 percent, Sekisui House is down almost 4 percent and Taiyo Yuden is declining more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 135 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia is down 2.7 percent, while China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.2 and 0.9 percent each. New Zealand and Singapore are up 0.7 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks showed wild swings over the course of the trading session on Friday before ending the day sharply higher. With the strong upward move, the major averages regained some ground after moving notably lower over the past few sessions.

The major averages saw further upside in the final hour of trading, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow jumped 321.83 points or 1.1 percent to 31,097.26, the Nasdaq advanced 99.11 points or 0.9 percent to 11,127.85 and the S&P 500 shot up 39.95 points or 1.1 percent to 3,825.33.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a lackluster performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index closed just below the unchanged, the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 and the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher Friday on concerns about supply outages in Libya and shutdowns in Norway caused by striking workers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $2.67 or 2.5 percent at $108.43 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures rose 1 percent in the week.

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