Asian Markets Extend Losing Streak

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Tuesday, following the continued sell-off on Wall Street overnight, as traders remain concerned about slowing growth, soaring inflation and prospects of tighter policy moves by global central banks to combat persistent inflation. Worries about the impact of the Ukraine war, and the ongoing lockdown in Shanghai are also weighing on market sentiment. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Monday.

The coronavirus outbreak and related shutdowns across dozens of Chinese cities is hitting global operations and supply chains. Tumbling commodity prices also weighed on energy and materials shares.

The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Tuesday, extending the sharp losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 7,000 mark, following the sell-off on Wall Street overnight, fueled largely by weakness in materials and energy stocks amid tumbling commodity prices. Technology stocks are also mirroring their peers lower on tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The coronavirus outbreak and related shutdowns across dozens of Chinese cities as well as rising prospects of sharper and faster interest rate hikes to reign in persistent inflation also weighed on market sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 112.50 points or 1.58 percent to 7,008.20, after hitting a low of 6,939.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 117.10 points or 1.59 percent to 7,240.80. Australian stocks closed significantly lower on Monday.

Among the major miners, OZ Minerals and Mineral Resources are slipping almost 5 percent each, while Rio Tinto is plunging more than 6 percent, Fortescue Metals is declining almost 6 percent and BHP Group is sliding more than 4 percent.

Oil stocks are lower, with Beach energy plunging almost 7 percent, Origin Energy declining more than 4 percent, Santos losing almost 4 percent and Woodside Petroleum is slipping more than 3 percent.

Among tech stocks, Appen is losing almost 5 percent, Block is plummeting almost 11 percent, WiseTech Global is declining more than 5 percent, Zip is slipping more than 4 percent and Xero is down more than 1 percent.

Gold miners are lower. Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining are losing 3.5 percent each, while Gold Road Resources and Resolute Mining are slipping more than 6 percent each. Northern Star Resources is declining 4.5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are losing more than 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is down almost 2 percent and Westpac is edging down 0.5 percent.

In economic news, the total value of retail sales in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent on month in March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday – coming in at $33.626 billion. Retail sales were up 9.4 percent on year. For the first quarter of 2022, retail sales rose 1.2 percent on quarter to $93.186 billion after jumping 7.9 percent in the three months prior.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.696 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Tuesday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 staying above the 26,000 mark, following the broad sell-off on Wall Street overnight, with weakness across all sectors amid a weaker yen and concerns about slowing growth, soaring inflation and prospects of tighter policy moves by global central banks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 26,074.53, down 244.81 points or 0.93 percent, after hitting a low of 25,773.83 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing 4.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 2 percent and Toyota is declining almost 3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 3 percent, Screen Holdings is declining more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is down almost 3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging down 0.5 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing 1.5 percent.

The major exporters are mixed, with Sony losing more than 4 percent, Panasonic edging down 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric declining more than 1 percent, while Canon is gaining almost 2 percent.

Among the other major losers, Japan Steel Works is plummeting more than 14 percent, while Inpex and NTT Data are plunging more than 8 percent each. Pacific Metals is slipping almost 8 percent, while Sumitomo Metal Mining, Idemitsu Kosan, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Toho Zinc, Marubeni and Nippon Yusen K.K. are declining more than 5 percent each. Mitsubishi and Ebara are losing almost 5 percent each.

Conversely, Sumitomo Pharma and Kikkoman are gaining more than 3 percent, while Meiji Holdings is adding more than 2 percent.

In economic news, the average of household spending in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 4.1 percent on month in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday – coming in at 307,261 yen. That beat expectations for an increase of 2.6 percent following the 2.8 percent decline in February. On a yearly basis, household spending fell 2.3 percent – again topping forecasts for a decline of 2.8 percent following the 1.1 percent increase in the previous month. The average of monthly income per household stood at 503,128 yen, up 2.3 percent on year.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 130 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia is plunging 3.5 percent and Hong Kong is slipping 2.6 percent, while New Zealand, South Korea, and Singapore are lower by between 1.1 and 1.4 percent each. Taiwan is down 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, Malaysia and China are adding 0.3 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks showed another substantial move to the downside during trading on Monday following the sharp pullback to close out the previous week. With the continued sell-off, the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled to its lowest closing level since November 2020, while the Dow and the S&P 500 also hit one-year closing lows.

The major averages saw continued weakness going into the close, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow slumped 653.67 points or 2 percent to 32,245.70, the Nasdaq plummeted 521.41 points or 4.3 percent to 11,623.25 and the S&P 500 plunged 132.10 points or 3.2 percent to 3,991.24.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index dove by 2.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index slumped by 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices slumped on Monday, weighed by concerns about outlook for energy demand amid the impact of the Ukraine war and a slowdown in Chinese economic growth. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down by $6.68 or 6.1 percent at $103.09 a barrel.

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