Asian Markets Mixed After Trump Ends Stimulus Talks

Asian stock markets are mixed on Wednesday following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street after U.S. President Donald Trump said he is ending negotiations with Democrats on a new fiscal stimulus package until after the November 3 presidential election.

Earlier in the day, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the U.S. economic recovery remained far from complete and the economy needed more fiscal support.

The Australian market recovered after a weak start following the negative cues from Wall Street. Optimism about Australia’s federal budget, which was unveiled yesterday night and is aimed at lifting the economy out of recession, offered support to the market.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 19.00 points or 0.32 percent to 5,981.10, after falling to a low of 5,944.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 24.00 points or 0.39 percent to 6,188.20. Australian stocks fluctuated before ending modestly higher on Tuesday.

The big four banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank – are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay is rising more than 2 percent, while Appen and WiseTech Global are rising more than 1 percent each.

In the mining space, BHP Group is declining more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is down 0.5 percent, while Fortescue Metals is adding 0.3 percent.

Gold miners are also weak after gold prices declined overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing 3 percent and Evolution Mining is lower by almost 2 percent.

In the oil sector, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.4 percent and Oil Search is up 0.2 percent, while Santos is declining 1 percent after crude oil prices gained overnight.

The Japanese market is declining following the negative cues from Wall Street and as a stronger yen weighed on exporters’ shares.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 97.66 points or 0.42 percent to 23,336.07, after touching a low of 23,272.45 in early trades. Japanese stocks closed higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is lower by 0.5 percent and Fast Retailing is down 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are also weak on a slightly stronger yen. Canon is losing more than 2 percent and Panasonic is lower by 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are down almost 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is advancing more than 1 percent and Advantest is adding almost 1 percent.

Among banks, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is lower by more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining almost 1 percent. Among the major automakers, Honda is sliding 0.6 percent and Toyota Motor is down 0.4 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is lower by almost 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is down 0.4 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone is rising more than 2 percent and Z Holdings is advancing almost 2 percent.

Conversely, IHI Corp. is losing more than 3 percent, while Daiichi Sankyo, Keisei Electric Railway and Konica Minolta are lower by almost 3 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan will see preliminary August results for its leading and coincident indexes today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 105 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan are higher, while Singapore and Malaysia are lower. New Zealand and Indonesia are little changed. The markets in China remain closed for the National Day holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday following a massive sell-off in the final hour after having spent much of the day’s session in positive territory. U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet that he would end negotiations on a new fiscal stimulus package sent shivers and triggered the sell-off. Trump said he has instructed his administration’s negotiators to stop stimulus discussions with Democrats until after the November 3 presidential election.

The Dow, which had surged to 28,354.48, ended the day with a loss of 375.88 points or 1.34 percent at 27,772.76. The Nasdaq plunged 177.88 points or 1.57 percent to settle at 11,154.60, while the S&P 500 slumped 47.66 points or 1.4 percent to 3,360.97.

The major European markets recovered after a weak start to close higher on Tuesday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.12 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed 0.61 percent and France’s CAC 40 ended up 0.48 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Tuesday and the front-month futures contract settled with strong gains for a second successive day as supply disruptions in Norway and expectations of a U.S. stimulus plan supported the commodity. WTI crude for November ended up $1.45 or about 3.7 percent at $40.67 a barrel.

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