Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower

Reflecting the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, Asian stock markets are also trading lower on Thursday, amid rising bond yields to multi-year highs, concerns about the outlook for interest rates and escalating tensions in the Middle East. Asian Markets closed mixed on Wednesday.

The Australian market is sharply lower on Thursday, giving up the gains in the previous two sessions, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is falling below the 7,000 mark, with weakness across most sectors led by iron ore miners and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 114.80 points or 1.62 percent to 6,962.80, after hitting a low of 6,961.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 113.50 points or 1.56 percent to 7,152.20. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are losing almost 2 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is down almost 1 percent and Mineral Resources is slipping more than 5 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is edging down 0.1 percent, while Beach energy and Woodside Energy are losing almost 1 percent each. Origin Energy is edging up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, WiseTech Global is losing almost 1 percent, Xero is down more than 1 percent and Afterpay owner Block is declining more than 2 percent, while Zip is gaining more than 1 percent and Appen is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are losing more than 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is down almost 1 percent.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is advancing almost 4 percent, Evolution Mining is edging up 0.3 percent and Gold Road Resources is adding almost 1 percent, while Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.2 percent. Resolute Mining is flat.

In economic news, the jobless rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 3.6 percent in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That beat forecasts for 3.7 percent, which would have been unchanged from the August reading.

The Australian economy added 6,700 jobs last month, shy of expectations for an increase of 18,000 following the addition of 64,900 jobs in the previous month. The participation rate was 66.7 percent, below forecasts for 67.0 percent, which would have been unchanged.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.630 on Thursday.

Snapping the gains in the previous two sessions, the Japanese market is trading sharply lower on Thursday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight. The Nikkei 225 is falling well below the 31,500 level, dragged by weakness across most sectors led by exporters and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at the day’s low of 31,446.99, down 595.26 points or 1.86 percent. Japanese stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is declining more than 2 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is losing almost 1 percent and Honda is down 1.5 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 3 percent, Tokyo Electron is declining more than 4 percent and Screen Holdings is down almost 4 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing 1.5 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are declining almost 2 percent each.

Among the major exporters, Sony is losing almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is declining more than 2 percent and Panasonic is down almost 3 percent, while Canon is adding more than 1 percent.

Among other major losers, Mitsubishi Motors and Daiichi Sankyo are losing more than 4 percent each, while Hoya and Yaskawa Electric are down almost 4 percent each. Fujikura and Toyota Tsusho are slipping more than 3 percent each, while Lasertec, Sharp, M3, Nissan Motor, IHI and Mazda Motor are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no other major gainers.

In economic news, Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 62.4 billion yen in September, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. That blew away expectations for a deficit of 425.0 billion yen following the 937.8 billion yen shortfall in August.

Exports were up 4.3 percent on year, beating forecasts for an increase of 3.1 percent after easing 0.8 percent in the previous month. Imports slumped an annual 16.3 percent versus expectations for a decline of 12.9 percent following the 17.7 percent contraction a month earlier.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 149 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are surging between 1.2 and 1.7 percent each, while New Zealand, China, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each. Taiwan is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a weak performance on Wednesday, drifting lower and lower as the session progressed amid rising tensions in the Middle East, and higher bond yields on concerns about the outlook for interest rates. According to reports, a deadly missile attack on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza killed several hundred people including women and children.

The major averages all ended notably lower, with the Nasdaq suffering a more pronounced loss. The Dow ended down 332.57 points or 0.98 percent at 33,665.08. The S&P 500 finished lower by 58.60 points or 1.34 percent at 4,314.60, while the Nasdaq dropped 219.44 points or 1.62 percent to 13,314.30.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended down 1.14 percent, Germany’s DAX drifted down 1.03 percent, and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.91 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Wednesday on rising concerns over supplies as geopolitical concerns escalated after the large explosion at the Gaza hospital. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November jumped $1.66 or 1.9 percent at $88.32 a barrel.

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