The sell-off on Wall Street overnight is dragging Asian stock markets in the red on Friday, as traders react to the hawkish remarks by US Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank “will not hesitate” to resume raising interest rates if it becomes appropriate. The surge in Treasury yields also weighed on the markets. Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday.
Participating in a policy panel in Washington, D.C., Powell acknowledged that U.S. inflation has slowed over the past year but pointed out it remains well above the Fed’s 2 percent target. He added that the central bank will continue to move carefully and decide on its policy path meeting by meeting.
Giving up the gains in the previous session, the Australian stock market is notably lower on Friday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is falling below the 7,000 mark, dragged by weakness in energy, financial and technology stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 39.60 points or 0.57 percent to 6,975.30, after hitting a low of 6,964.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 41.00 points or 0.57 percent to 7,174.10. Australian markets ended modestly higher on Thursday.
Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent. Mineral Resources is losing more than 1 percent.
Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is losing almost 1 percent and Origin Energy is declining almost 2 percent, while Woodside Energy and Beach energy are down more than 1 percent each.
Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is losing almost 2 percent, while Xero and Appen are declining more than 2 percent each. WiseTech Global is edging up 0.3 percent and Zip is adding more than 1 percent.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are losing almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is down more than 1 percent and National Australia Bank is declining more than 2 percent.
Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources is losing more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is down almost 1 percent, while Resolute Mining is edging up 0.5 percent. Gold Road Resources is flat, while trading in Newcrest Mining is suspended.
In other news, shares in Imugene are skyrocketing more than 20 percent after the cancer drug tech developer officially dosed the first patent in a much-anticipated Phase 1b drug trial based in the US.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.636 on Friday.
Giving up the gains in the previous session, the Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Friday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark Nikkei 225 is falling below the 32,400 level, dragged by weakness in index heavyweights and exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,450,03, down 196.43 points or 0.60 percent, after hitting a low of 32,248.24 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply higher on Thursday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 6 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is slipping more than 7 percent and Toyota is declining more than 1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.3 percent and Screen Holdings is surging more than 5 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining more than 1 percent, Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding almost 1 percent.
Among major exporters, Sony is down almost 4 percent, Panasonic is declining more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.2 percent, while Canon is edging up 0.4 percent.
Among other major losers, GC Holdings is plummeting almost 13 percent and Nikon is plunging more than 10 percent, while Kobe Steel and Takara Holdings are losing more than 5 percent each. Renesas Electronics is slipping almost 5 percent, while Nissan Motor and Recruit Holdings are losing more than 4 percent each. Sumco is down more than 3 percent, while Subaru and Nintendo are declining almost 3 percent.
Conversely, Trend Micro is skyrocketing almost 16 percent, Resonac Holdings is soaring more than 11 percent, Comsys Holdings is surging almost 8 percent, Taiheiyo Cement is gaining almost 6 percent and NEXON is adding more than 5 percent, while T&D Holdings and Pacific Metals are up more than 3 percent each.
In economic news, the M2 money stock in Japan was up 2.4 percent on year in October, the Bank of Japan said on Friday – coming in at 1,235.1 trillion yen. That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the September reading.
The M3 money stock rose an annual 1.8 percent to 1,590.2 trillion yen, also unchanged from the previous month. The L money stock was up 2.0 percent on year at 2,114.8 trillion yen, easing from 2.1 percent a month earlier.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 151 yen-range on Friday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong and South Korea are down 1.6 and 1.0 percent, respectively, while New Zealand, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction for much of morning trading on Thursday but came under considerable pressure in the afternoon. The major averages all showed notable moves to the downside, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 snapping their longest winning streaks in two years.
The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but remained firmly negative. The Nasdaq slumped 128.97 points or 0.9 percent to 13,521.45, the S&P 500 slid 35.43 points or 0.8 percent to 4,347.35 and the Dow fell 220.33 points or 0.7 percent to 33,891.94.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices climbed higher on Thursday after two straight sessions of decline on concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for December rose $0.41 or 0.5 percent at $75.74 a barrel, due to some short-covering and bargain hunting.
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