Asian Markets A Sea Of Red

Asian stock markets are a sea of red on Tuesday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, on rising treasury yields and as a stronger dollar weighed on commodity prices that took down materials and energy stocks. Traders also react to some economic data from the region. Asian markets closed mixed on Monday.

Traders now look ahead to the release of the US Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday, for more clues on interest rate outlook.

Giving up the gains in the previous session, the Australian stock market is significantly lower on Tuesday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is falling below the 7,100 level, with losses across most sectors, led by technology stocks. Mining and energy stocks are also weak amid tumbling commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 83.40 points or 1.17 percent to 7,041.30, after hitting a low of 7,041.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 87.10 points or 1.19 percent to 7,249.00. Australian stocks closed significantly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are losing almost 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto is down more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is declining more than 4 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Woodside Energy and Beach energy are down more than 1 percent each, while Santos is losing almost 1 percent. Origin Energy is gaining more than 2 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is losing more than 1 percent, Appen is declining 5.5 percent, Zip is slipping almost 4 percent and Xero is down almost 2 percent. Afterpay owner Block is flat.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star resources is losing more than 4 percent, Gold Road Resources is down almost 3 percent, Resolute Mining is declining 5.5 percent and Newmont is slipping more than 2 percent. Evolution Mining is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging down 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while ANZ Banking is losing almost 1 percent.

In economic news, Australia posted a current account deficit of A$158 million in the third quarter of 2023, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. That missed expectations for a surplus of A$3.0 billion and was down sharply from the upwardly revised A$7.8 billion surplus in the previous three months (originally A$7.7 billion).

The Reserve Bank of Australia will wrap up its monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and then announce its decision on interest rates. The RBA is expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 4.35 percent.

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

Extending the losses the previous two sessions, the Japanese stock market is sharply lower on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 32,800 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with losses across most sectors, led by technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,782.14, down 449.13 points or 1.35 percent, after hitting a low of 32,726.68 earlier. Japanese shares ended notably lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down almost 3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 5 percent, Tokyo Electron is down almost 4 percent each and Screen Holdings is declining more than 4 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.4 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are losing almost 1 percent each.

The major exporters are mixed. Panasonic is losing more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is declining almost 2 percent, while Sony is gaining almost 1 percent and Canon is edging up 0.4 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Renesas Electronics is losing almost 5 percent, while Recruit Holdings, Lasertec, Sumco and Yaskawa Electric are declining more than 3 percent each. TDK, Shin-Etsu Chemical and NEC are down almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no other major gainers

In economic news, the service sector in Japan continued to expand in November, albeit at a slower rate, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Tuesday with a PMI score of 50.8. That’s down from 51.6 in October, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The composite PMI slipped into contraction at 49.6, down from 50.5 in October.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 147 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.5 percent, while New Zealand, China, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.1 and 0.9 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a notable move to the downside in early trading on Monday, giving back ground after turning in a strong performance last Friday. The major averages subsequently climbed well off their worst levels but still ended the day in negative territory.

The Nasdaq slid 119.54 points or 0.8 percent to 14,185.49 and the S&P 500 fell 24.85 points or 0.5 percent to 4,569.78, while the narrower Dow edged down 41.06 points or 0.1 percent to 36,204.44 after falling more than 200 points early in the session.

Meanwhile, the major European markets ended the day narrowly mixed. While the German DAX Index crept up by less than 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Monday, pushing the most active futures contract to a nearly three-week low amid worries about the outlook for demand and skepticism about OPEC output cuts. The dollar’s rise also weighed on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended lower by $1.03 or 1.4 percent at $73.04 a barrel, the lowest settlement since November 16.

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