Asian Markets Showing Mixed Trend

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Wednesday, following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, on strength in financial stocks even as the continued increase in treasury yields following Fed Chair Powell’s re-nomination weighed on high-growth tech stocks. Traders also remain concerned about the resurgence of coronavirus cases and fresh lockdown measures in Europe and some other countries. Asian Markets closed mixed on Tuesday.

The Australian stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,400 level, despite the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, with gains in energy and financial stocks more than offset by weakness in gold mining and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 3.80 points or 0.05 percent to 7,406.80, after touching a high of 7,425.00 and a low of 7,381.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 10.90 points or 0.14 percent to 7,730.80. Australian stocks ended notably higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group is gaining almost 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent, while OZ Minerals is losing almost 1 percent and Mineral Resources is edging down 0.5 percent. Rio Tinto is flat.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Woodside Petroleum and Beach energy are gaining more than 2 percent each, while Santos is adding almost 2 percent, Oil Search is rising more than 1 percent and Origin Energy is advancing almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, WiseTech Global is losing almost 3 percent, Xero is edging down 0.4 percent, Afterpay is declining more than 1 percent and Appen is slipping almost 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank are gaining more than 1 percent each, while National Australia Bank is edging up 0.4 percent. Westpac is flat.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining and Resolute Mining are declining more than 2 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is losing more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is slipping almost 2 percent and Northern Star Resources is down 1.5 percent.

Shares in Technology One are plunging more than 9 percent despite the enterprise software company reported net profit and revenue for the full year that increased and declared a final dividend.

Shares in Pinnacle Investment are sliding almost 7 percent following its entry into the private equity space via a 25 percent stake in Sydney-based growth fund manager Five V Capital.

In economic news, the total value of construction work done in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2021, the Australian Burau of Statistics said on Wednesday – coming in at A$53.926 billion. That beat forecasts for a decline of 3.1 percent following the 0.8 percent increase in the three months prior. On a yearly basis, the value of overall construction work done increased 3.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.721 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Wednesday after a holiday, giving up some of the slight gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei index above the 29,400 level, despite the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, with weakness in technology and high growth stocks amid rising global bond yields.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,436.73, down 337.38 points or 1.13 percent, after hitting a low of 29,431.75 earlier. Japanese stocks closed slightly higher on Monday and after a holiday on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is adding more than 2 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is losing 2.5 percent, Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.4 percent and Advantest is declining more than 3 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 3 percent, Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic is edging down 0.2 percent and Sony is losing more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.2 percent and Canon is gaining almost 2 percent.

Among the other major losers, Z Holdings is plunging more than 5 percent, while Nexon and M3 are down more than 4 percent each. Rakuten Group, Recruit Holdings, CyberAgent and Shiseido are sliding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Japan Steel Works and Mitsubishi Motors are adding more than 5 percent each, while Nissan Motor, Ricoh and Inpex are gaining more than 4 percent each. Yaskawa Electric, Pacific Metals, Mazda Motor and Marubeni are up almost 4 percent each, while Kirin Holdings, Citizen Watch, Toho Zinc and Sumitomo Metal Mining are advancing more than 3 percent each.

In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Japan picked up steam in November, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Wednesday with a manufacturing PMI score of 54.2. That’s up from 53.2 in October and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI improved to 52.1 in November from 50.7 in October, and the composite PMI rose to 52.5 from 50.7.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 115 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are lower by between 0.3 and 0.5 percent each, while New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia are higher by between 0.1 and 0.3 percent each. Malaysia is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks once again moved in opposite directions during trading on Tuesday, closing mixed for the fourth consecutive session. While the Nasdaq extended the sharp pullback seen in the previous session, the Dow and the S&P 500 moved to the upside.

The Nasdaq climbed well off its worst levels of the day but still closed down 79.62 points or 0.5 percent at 15,775.14. Meanwhile, the Dow climbed 194.55 points or 0.6 percent to 35,813.80 and the S&P 500 rose 7.76 points or 0.2 percent at 4,690.70.

Meanwhile, European stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the session. The German DAX Index slumped by 1.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.9 percent, although the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index bucked the downtrend and inched up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday, rebounding strongly from earlier losses over the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe, and plans by the U.S. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January still ended higher by $1.75 or 2.3 percent at $78.50 a barrel.

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