Asian Markets Follow Global Markets Lower
Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Friday, following the broadly negative cues overnight from global markets, amid rising concerns of a possible recession in the foreseeable future due to aggressive policy tightening by central banks around the world. Central banks in Switzerland, England and Taiwan, among others, also decided to hike rates to fight soaring inflation. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.
After announcing a 75-basis point rate hike, the biggest increase since 1994, on Wednesday and leaving the door open for another rate increase of that magnitude in July, US Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank cannot control all the factors driving inflation, which is at a 40-year high.
The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Friday, extending the losses in the previous five sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 sinking to 19-month lows to stay above the 6,400 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from global markets on recession fears, dragged by weakness across most sectors, particularly technology stocks. Gold miners were the only bright spot.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 153.30 points or 2.36 percent to 6,437.80, after hitting a low of 6,410.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 160.20 points or 2.36 percent to 6,623.50. Australian markets ended slightly lower on Thursday.
Among major miners, Rio Tinto, OZ Minerals and Fortescue Metals are declining almost 4 percent each, while BHP Group and Mineral Resources are losing almost 3 percent each.
Oil stocks are lower. Origin Energy is losing almost 2 percent, Beach energy is declining almost 5 percent, Woodside Energy is down more than 2 percent and Santos is sliding more than 4 percent.
Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is losing almost 4 percent, Xero is sliding 5.5 percent, Afterpay owner Block is plunging 7.5 percent and Appen is declining more than 2 percent, while Zip is adding almost 3 percent.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is losing more than 3 percent and National Australia Bank is declining more than 3 percent, while Westpac and ANZ Banking are down more than 2 percent each.
Gold miners are higher. Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 3 percent, Gold Road Resources is adding almost 3 percent, Evolution Mining is advancing almost 4 percent and Newcrest Mining is up almost 2 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.702 on Friday.
The Japanese stock market is sharply lower on Friday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling below the 25,900 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from global markets, with losses across all sectors amid global recession fears and ahead of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy decision later in the day.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 25,858.50, down 572.70 points or 2.17 percent, after hitting a low of 25,720.80 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly higher on Thursday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.4 percent. Among automakers, Honda is declining more than 3 percent and Toyota is losing almost 4 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is plunging more than 5 percent, Screen Holdings is declining almost 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is down slipping almost 6 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 3 percent, Mizuho Financial is declining almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down more than 2 percent.
Among major exporters, Panasonic and Sony are losing 1.5 percent each, while Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are declining more than 2 percent each.
Among the other major losers, Tokai Carbon is plummeting more than 8 percent and Showa Denko K.K. is plunging more than 6 percent, while Kubota, JGC Holdings, Nissan Motor and Taiyo Yuden are losing almost 6 percent each. Sumco, Recruit Holdings, JTEKT, Komatsu, Mitsubishi Motors, Toho Zinc and Denso are declining more than 5 percent each.
Conversely, Keio is surging more than 5 percent.
In economic news, the Bank of Japan will wrap up its monetary policy meeting on Friday and then announce its decision on interest rates. The BoJ is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate steady at -0.1 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 133 yen-range on Friday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are lower by between 1.1 to 1.7 percent each. Hong Kong and China are up 0.8 and 0.2 percent, respectively. Singapore is relatively flat.
On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading session on Thursday, more than offsetting the rally seen during trading on Wednesday. With the sharp pullback on the day, the major averages tumbled to their lowest closing levels in well over a year.
The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but still posted steep losses on the day. The Dow plunged 741.46 points or 2.4 percent to 29,927.07, The Nasdaq plummeted 453.06 points or 4.1 percent to 10,646.10 and the S&P 500 dove 123.22 points or 3.3 percent to 3,666.77.
The major European markets all also showed significant moves to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 2.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index plunged by 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices settled higher on Thursday after prices rebounded as tight supply levels outweighed concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended higher by $2.27 or 2 percent at $117.58 a barrel.
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