Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, as lingering concerns about US lawmakers’ ability to reach an agreement on increasing the U.S. debt ceiling continued. Traders remain worried about reports suggesting a lack of progress towards a deal. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday.

Traders were also digesting the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s May monetary policy meeting, which indicated uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates.

The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 7,200 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with losses across most sectors, led by mining and energy stocks amid tumbling commodity prices. Technology stocks were a bright spot.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 67.50 points or 0.94 percent to 7,146.30, after hitting a low of 7,146.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 69.30 points or 0.94 percent to 7,323.60. Australian stocks ended notably lower on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are down more than 1 percent each, while Mineral Resources is declining almost 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is losing 2.5 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos and Origin Energy are edging down 0.1 to 0.4 percent each, while Beach energy is losing almost 1 percent. Woodside Energy is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, WiseTech Global and Zip are edging up 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Afterpay owner Block is gaining almost 3 percent, Appen is surging almost 5 percent and Xero is adding almost 1 percent.

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

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining and Gold Road Resources are slipping almost 3 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is down 2.5 percent and Newcrest Mining is losing 1.5 percent. Resolute Mining is gaining almost 1 percent.

In other news, shares in Treasury Wine Estates are down almost 4 percent after the Australian wine producer and distributor said it expects group net sales revenue to decline 2 to 3 percent in FY 2023.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.653 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Thursday, recouping the losses in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 just below the 30,800 level, despite the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, boosted by strong gains in the technology sector, partially offset by losses in most other sectors.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 30,848.07, up 165.39 points or 0.54 percent, after touching a high of 30,886.50 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.5 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is losing almost 1 percent, while Honda is adding more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining more than 3 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding almost 3 percent and Advantest is soaring more than 16 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing more than 1 percent, Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining almost 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.2 percent, while Canon is gaining almost 2 percent. Sony and Panasonic are edging up 0.2 to 0.4 percent each.

Among the other major losers, NEXON and Daiichi Sankyo are losing more than 3 percent each, while M3, T&D Holdings, CyberAgent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Dai-ichi Life and IHI Corp. are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Sumco is gaining more than 3 percent and Eisai is adding almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 139 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.7 percent, while New Zealand, China, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each. Taiwan is bucking the trend and is up 0.8 percent.

On Wall Street, stock saw further downside during trading on Wednesday following the steep drop seen in Tuesday’s session. The major averages all moved lower, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulling back further off the nine-month closing high set on Monday.

The major averages fluctuated in the final hour of trading but remained in negative territory. The Dow slid 255.59 points or 0.8 percent to 32,799.92, the Nasdaq fell 76.08 points or 0.6 percent to 12,484.16 and the S&P 500 dropped 30.34 points or 0.7 percent to 4,115.24.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index plunged by 1.9 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dove by 1.8 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.7 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher Wednesday, rising for the third consecutive session on concerns over tightening supply after data showed a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July jumped $1.43 or 2 percent at $74.34 a barrel.

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