Asian Markets Trade Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, amid lingering concerns about inflation and the prospect of aggressive rate hikes by central banks around the world. Traders also remain worried about the likely economic impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the extended lockdown in Shanghai due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak. Asian markets closed mixed on Friday.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 just below the 7,500 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, thanks to strong gains in energy and materials shares following a surge in commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 3.50 points or 0.05 percent to 7,481.50, after touching a high of 7,521.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 1.70 points or 0.02 percent to 7,770.30. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are gaining more than 1 percent each, while OZ Minerals is edging up 0.5 percent. Mineral Resources and Fortescue Metals are flat.

Oil stocks are higher, with Beach energy gaining more than 2 percent, Woodside Petroleum adding almost 1 percent, Origin Energy edging up 0.3 percent and Santos up more than 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Appen and WiseTech Global are losing more than 2 percent each, while Block, Zip and Xero are slipping more than 1 percent each. Gold miners are strong. Gold Road Resources is gaining almost 2 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding 1.5 percent, Resolute Mining is advancing more than 3 percent, Evolution Mining is edging up 0.5 percent and Northern Star Resources is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Westpac and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.5 percent each.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.744 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Monday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 staying above the 26,800 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, with losses in exporters and technology stocks amid a weaker yen. Traders also continue to be concerned about the potential economic impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,793.46, down 192.34 points or 0.71 percent, after hitting a low of 26,763.60 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.5, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is declining more than 1 percent, Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.5 percent and Screen Holdings is losing almost 1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding almost 2 percent.

The major exporters are weak, with Sony slipping almost 3 percent, Mitsubishi Electric edging down 0.2 percent and Canon losing almost 1 percent. Panasonic is flat

Among the other major losers, M3 is losing almost 4 percent.

Conversely, Tokyo Electric Power is soaring almost 9 percent and Chubu Electric Power is surging more than 6 percent, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Toho Zinc and Japan Steel Works are gaining more than 4 percent each. Chiba Bank and Credit Saison are adding almost 4 percent each, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsui E&S Holdings, Inpex, Dowa Holdings and Shizuoka Bank are advancing more than 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 124 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is sliding 2.5 percent, China is slipping 2.0 percent and Taiwan is losing 1.2 percent, while New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore are lower by between 0.6 and 0.9 percent each. Indonesia is bucking the trend and is up 1.2 percent. Malaysia is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday after they all ended a volatile session on Thursday in positive territory.

While the Dow saw further upside, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 gave back ground. The Dow rose 137.55 points or 0.4 percent to 34,721.12, but the Nasdaq tumbled 186.30 points or 1.3 percent to 13,711.00 and the S&P 500 fell 11.93 points or 0.3 percent to 4,488.28.

Meanwhile, the major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index surged by 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

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