Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly weak on Friday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, amid continuing worries about inflation, interest rates and outlook for global economic growth after the US Fed’s hawkish indications it will keep interest rates at elevated levels for longer than previously anticipated to combat stubborn inflation, after one more rate hike this year. Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Friday, extending the losses in the previous four sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying just above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors, led by heavyweight mining stocks and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 43.70 points or 0.62 percent to 7,021.50, after hitting six-month low of 6,957.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 44.60 points or 0.61 percent to 7,222.00. Australian markets ended sharply lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are losing more than 2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is slipping almost 2 percent and Rio Tinto declining almost 3 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is losing almost 2 percent, while Beach energy and Woodside Energy are declining almost 1 percent each. Origin Energy is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is losing more than 3 percent, WiseTech Global is declining more than 1 percent and Xero is slipping more than 2 percent, while Appen is edging up 0.4 percent and Zip is adding almost 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is losing 1.5 percent, National Australia Bank is down almost 1 percent, Westpac is down more than 1 percent and ANZ Banking is slipping almost 2 percent.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources is losing almost 2 percent, Resolute Mining is slipping almost 4 percent, Gold Road Resources is declining almost 3 percent, Newcrest Mining is down almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining falling more than 1 percent.

In other news, shares in Costa Group are surging almost 7 percent after the fruit and vegetable processor accepted a $3.20 cash per share takeover offer by US buyout company Paine Schwartz Partners.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.642 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Friday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling below the 32,300 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted to downbeat domestic data with weakness seen across most sectors, led by exporters and technology stocks.

Traders also await the Bank of Japan’s decision on interest rates after the BoJ wraps up its monetary policy meeting later in the day. The BoJ is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at -0.1 percent.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,287.46, down 283.57 points or 0.87 percent, after hitting a low of 32,154.53 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday.

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

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 1 percent, Screen Holdings is edging up 0.1 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining almost 2 percent.

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

Among major exporters, Sony is losing more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is down almost 1 percent, while Canon and Panasonic are edging down 0.5 percent each.

Among other major losers, Z Holdings is losing more than 4 percent, while Nippon Sheet Glass and Tokyo Electric Power are declining more than 3 percent each. Kubota, Shiseido and Aeon are down almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no other major gainers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 148 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.6 percent each, while China, Hong Kong and Indonesia are higher by between 0.5 and 0.6 percent each. Taiwan is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday, extending the sell-off seen late in the previous session. The major averages all posted steep losses on the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunging to its lowest closing level in over three months.

The major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the day just off their lows of the session. The Nasdaq plummeted 245.14 points or 1.8 percent to 13,223.98, the S&P 500 dove 72.20 points or 1.6 percent to 4,330.00 and the Dow tumbled 370.46 points or 1.1 percent to 34,070.42.

The major European markets also saw significant weakness on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index plunged by 1.6 percent, the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil prices recovered from early weakness on Thursday amid concerns about tight supplies after Russia imposed a ban on fuel exports. However, the contract failed to hold gains and ended slightly down. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November settled at $89.63 a barrel, down $0.03, despite rallying to $90.98 from a low of $88.37 a barrel.

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