Asian Markets Trading Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight, amid concerns about the economic outlook following the release of some disappointing economic data which reignited fears of a recession. Traders now look ahead to the release of the closely watched US monthly jobs report for further cues. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said recently that policymakers should move their benchmark rate above 5% this year and hold it at restrictive levels for some time to quell inflation.

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Thursday in choppy trading, snapping the eight-session winning streak, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,200 level, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight, dragged by technology stock which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 24.90 points or 0.34 percent to 7,212.30, after hitting a low of 2,214.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 29.60 points or 0.40 percent to 7,404.70. Australian stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are edging down 0.1 percent each, while Mineral Resources is losing almost 2 percent. Rio Tinto is edging up 0.3 percent and OZ Minerals is flat.

Oil stocks are mixed. Santos and Woodside Energy are losing almost 1 percent each, while Beach energy and Origin Energy are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.

In the tech space, Xero and WiseTech Global are losing almost 1 percent each, while Appen is edging down 0.4 percent and Afterpay owner Block is declining almost 2 percent. Zip is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are edging down 0.1 to 0.2 percent each, while National Australia Bank is losing almost 1 percent. Westpac is edging up 0.1 percent.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining are edging up 0.3 to 0.4 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is gaining almost 1 percent. Resolute Mining is declining more than 3 percent and Gold Road Resources is slipping more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.670 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,600 level, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors, led by technology stocks, which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,513.68, down 299.58 points or 1.08 percent, after hitting a low of 27,467.59 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday.

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

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is losing almost 3 percent, Tokyo Electron is declining almost 5 percent and Advantest is down more than 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are edging down 0.5 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is losing more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are losing more than 1 percent each, while Sony is declining more than 2 percent and Canon is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among the other major losers, SMC and Daikin Industries are losing almost 4 percent each, while Ebara and Fujitsu are down more than 3 percent. Hoya, Keyence, Minebea Mitsumi, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Fukuoka Financial, Mazda Motor, Nissan Motor and Kubota are all declining almost 3 percent.

Conversely, there are no other major gainers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 131 yen-range on Thursday.

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

On Wall Street, stock indexes turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday following the weakness seen in the previous session.

While the Dow rose 80.34 points or 0.2 percent to 33,482.72, the S&P 500 closed down 10.22 points or 0.3 percent to 4,090.38. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a more significant move to the downside, slumping 129.47 points or 1.1 percent to 11,996.86.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.4 percent and the German DAX Index slid by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday as worries about economic slowdown outweighed data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended lower by $0.10 at $80.61 a barrel.

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