Asian Markets Mostly Lower Amid Cautious Trades

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Tuesday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, as investors remained cautious, while reassessing the outlook for the interest rate hikes by major central banks amid persistent inflation and a potential recession. The Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday.

Investors also await the U.S. quarterly GDP growth rate numbers due later in the week to assess the outlook for U.S. rate hikes and the potential for a recession.
-Buying interest may be somewhat subdued, however, as concerns about inflation and a potential recession continue to hang over the markets.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,700 level, despite the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, boosted largely by strong rebound in gold miners, materials and energy stocks, partially offset by weakness in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 22.30 points or 0.33 percent to 6,728.30, after touching a high of 6,735.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 24.70 points or 0.36 percent to 6.918.30. Australian stocks closed sharply higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and Mineral Resources are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is adding 2.5 percent and BHP Group is advancing more than 2 percent. OZ Minerals is losing almost 4 percent.

Oil stocks are higher, with Beach energy gaining 4.5 percent, while Woodside Energy, Origin Energy and Santos are adding more than 2 percent each.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is losing more than 3 percent, Zip is slipping almost 5 percent, WiseTech Global is down almost 2 percent and Appen is sliding 5.5 percent. Xero is flat.

Gold miners are higher. Newcrest Mining and Resolute Mining are gaining more than 2 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is adding more than 3 percent, Evolution Mining is edging up 0.4 percent and Northern Star Resources is advancing more than 6 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.1 percent and National Australia Bank is edging down 0.4 percent, while Westpac and ANZ Banking are losing almost 1 percent each.

In other news, shares in Tassal Group are surging almost 14 percent after the salmon farming firm rejected a third acquisition proposal from Canadian aquaculture firm Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

Shares in BWX Ltd. are plunging more than 39 percent after the personal care products firm launched a $23.2 million capital raise to repay off its debt and provide additional funds for working capital.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.693 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is slightly lower on Tuesday after being in the green in most of the morning session, giving up some of the gains in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 staying above the 26,800 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, dragged by weakness in technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,830.69, down 40.58 points or 0.15 percent, after hitting a low of 26,789.50 and a high of 27,010.29 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 2 percent and Toyota is adding more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 1 percent, while Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are down almost 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is adding more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher, with Sony edging up 0.5 percent, Canon gaining more than 1 percent and Panasonic edging up 0.2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is flat.

Among the other major losers, M3 is losing almost 3 percent, while Z Holdings, Sumco, Recruit Holdings and Rakuten Group are declining more than 2 percent each.

Conversely, Pacific Metals and Mitsubishi Motors are surging almost 5 percent each, while Inpex is gaining more than 4 percent. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, JGC Holdings, Credit Saison, T&D Holdings and Idemitsu Kosan are up almost 4 percent each, while Kobe Steel, Mitsui Fudosan, Komatsu, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Mitsubishi Estate are adding more than 3 percent each.

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

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong are down 1.1 and 1.0 percent, respectively. New Zealand, China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Monday after spending much of the day’s session in negative territory as investors largely stayed cautious. They reassessed the expected path of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes amid falling inflation expectations.

The major averages all ended in the red with the Nasdaq posting a more pronounced loss. The Dow ended down by 62.42 points or 0.2 percent at 31,438.26, the S&P 500 settled lower by 11.63 points or 0.3 percent at 3,900.11, while the Nasdaq closed lower by 83.07 points or 0.72 percent at 11,524.55.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.69 percent and Germany’s DAX surged up 0.52 percent, while France’s CAC 40 ended 0.43 percent down, failing to hold early gains.

Oil futures settled higher on Monday, extending gains from the previous session amid slightly easing worries about outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $1.95 or 1.8 percent at $109.57 a barrel.

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