Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, on a drop in crude oil prices and inflation concerns as data showed that the annual rate of US consumer price inflation in October was at its highest level in 31 years. This has raised concerns about the outlook for interest rates even though the Federal Reserve has signaled it will not be in a hurry to begin raising rates. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday.
The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,300 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street as US inflation surges the highest in 31 years. Weakness in technology and energy stocks is partially offset by strength in mining and financial stocks.
The market dropped further after the release of data that showed unemployment rate climbed higher than expected in October to the highest level in six months.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 35.40 points or 0.48 percent to 7,388.50, after hitting a low of 7,329.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 30.00 points or 0.39 percent to 7,707.40. Australian markets ended slightly lower on Wednesday.
Among major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are gaining more than 1 percent each, while OZ Minerals is adding more than 2 percent, Mineral Resources is up almost 4 percent and Fortescue Metals is surging 5.5 percent.
Oil stocks are lower. Origin Energy is losing more than 1 percent, Beach Energy is down almost 3 percent and Oil Search is slipping more than 2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Santos are declining 2.5 percent each.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is losing almost 1 percent and National Australia Bank is declining more than 1 percent, while Westpac and ANZ Banking are flat.
In the tech space, Xero and Zip are losing 3.5 percent each, while WiseTech Global is down almost 2 percent and Afterpay is declining more than 1 percent. Appen is gaining almost 2 percent.
Gold miners are higher. Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 4 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding almost 2 percent, Evolution Mining is rising almost 3 percent, Northern Star Resources is up more than 3 percent and Resolute Mining is surging almost 6 percent.
Shares in Nine Entertainment are gaining more than 4 percent after it upgraded the earnings outlook for its publishing division as the advertising market continues to grow.
In economic news, the jobless rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was well above expectations for 4.8 percent and up from 4.6 percent in September. The participation rate increased to 64.7 percent, shy of expectations for 64.9 percent but still up from 64.5 percent a month earlier.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.731 on Thursday.
The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Thursday, recouping some of the losses in the previous four sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 above the 29,300 level, despite the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders reacted to domestic data that showed producer prices at the highest level in almost three decades. Traders also await the new government to launch a fresh round of stimulus to shore up the economy.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,325.75, up 218.97 points or 0.75 percent, after touching a high of 29,336.03 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly lower on Wednesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is adding almost 1 percent, while Honda is losing almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is adding almost 1 percent.
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 mostly higher. Panasonic and Canon are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.3 percent. Sony is edging down 0.3 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Pacific Metals is skyrocketing more than 14 percent, Toppan is soaring more than 8 percent, Showa Denko is surging more than 6 percent and Tokai Carbon is gaining more than 4 percent, while Secom and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings are up more than 3 percent each. JTEKT, Fanuc and Toyota Tsusho are up almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, Shiseido is plunging almost 6 percent and Asahi Group is declining almost 5 percent, while Comsys Holdings and Nexon are down almost 3 percent each.
In economic news, producer prices in Japan were up 1.2 percent on month in October, the Bank of Japan said on Thursday, accelerating from the 0.3 percent increase in September. On a yearly basis, producer prices spiked 8.0 percent – up from 6.3 percent in the previous month. Export prices were up 2.1 percent on month and 13.7 percent on year in October, the bank said, while import prices spiked 4.1 percent on month and 38.0 percent on year. The foreign exchange rate was up 2.7 percent on month.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 114 yen-range on Thursday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore are lower by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent each, while China is up 0.6 percent. New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia are relatively flat.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a notable move to the downside during trading on Wednesday extending the pullback seen in the previous session. The major averages continued to give back ground after ending Monday’s trading at record closing highs.
The major averages all closed firmly in the red, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed its counterparts. While the Nasdaq tumbled 263.84 points or 1.7 percent to 15,622.71, the S&P 500 slid 38.54 points or 0.8 percent to 4,646.71 and the Dow fell 240.04 points or 0.7 percent to 36,079.94.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index closed just above the unchanged line.
Crude oil prices declined sharply on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak after data showed an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down by $2.81 or 3.3 percent at $81.34 a barrel.
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