Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Wednesday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, amid worries about growth and interest rates, and increasing concerns over a standoff in Republican-manufactured U.S. debt ceiling confrontation. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said they held productive talks but there was no agreement on how to raise the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.

The minutes of the Fed’s latest monetary policy meeting are also likely to attract attention, as traders look for additional clues on the outlook for interest rates.

The Australian stock market is notably lower on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,200 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors, led by technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 31.50 points or 0.43 percent to 7,228.40, after hitting a low of 7,221.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 37.00 points or 0.50 percent to 7,410.40. Australian stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals, Mineral Resources and Rio Tinto are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while BHP Group is flat.

Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy, Woodside Energy and Santos are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Origin Energy is edging up 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Appen is losing more than 2 percent, Zip is declining more than 3 percent and WiseTech Global is edging down 0.1 percent, while Afterpay owner Block is gaining almost 1 percent. Xero is flat.

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

Among gold miners, Resolute Mining is gaining almost 3 percent, Gold Road Resources is up more than 1 percent and Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.5 percent, while Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are adding almost 1 percent each.

In other news, shares in Webjet are up more than 3 percent after the online travel agency reported full-year revenues that more than doubled from last as demand for travel rebounds from the pandemic. It also swung to a profit.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.660 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 30,700 level and off the 33-year highs, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight and with traders booking profits after the recent surge in the markets.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 30,623.83, down 333.94 points or 1.08 percent, after hitting a low of 30,597.13 earlier. Japanese stocks ended notably lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing 1.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is declining more than 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.3 percent, while Toyota is gaining more than 4 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is edging up 0.5 percent, while Advantest and Tokyo Electron are edging down 0.3 to 0.4 percent each.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.4 percent, Mizuho Financial is gaining almost 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Sony is losing more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic is down almost 1 percent each. Canon is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among other major losers, Shiseido and Oriental Land are losing more than 4 percent each, while CyberAgent is down more than 3 percent. Isetan Mitsukoshi, M3, Terumo and J. Front Retailing are all declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Kansai Electric Power is gaining almost 5 percent, Hitachi Construction Machinery is adding more than 3 percent and T&D Holdings is up almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 138 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.2 percent, while China Singapore South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.1 and 0.7 percent each. New Zealand and Indonesia are up 0.1 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks ended notably lower on Tuesday after staying weak right through the day’s session due to sustained selling at several counters. A lack of significant progress in U.S. debt ceiling negotiations weighed on sentiment. Traders largely shrugged off data showing fairly sharp growth in the nation’s private sector activity.

The major averages all ended notably lower. The Dow ended lower by 231.07 points or 0.69 percent at 33,055.51. The S&P 500 ended down 47.05 points or 1.12 percent at 4,145.58, while the Nasdaq settled at 12,560.25, down 160.53 points or 1.26 percent.

The major European markets also closed lower, weighed down by concerns about growth after data showed a contraction in eurozone manufacturing activity, and U.S. debt ceiling worries and signs of increasing Sino-U.S. tensions. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX dropped 0.44 percent and France’s CAC fell 1.33 percent.

Crude oil futures advanced on speculation that OPEC might consider another production cut next month, and on a warning from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister that oil prices will stop declining. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July rose $0.86 or 1.2 percent at $72.91 a barrel.

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