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Asian Markets Trade Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Friday, despite the mostly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, amid ongoing concerns about the outlook for US Fed’s interest rates a report showing relatively tame producer price inflation data against yesterday’s hotter-than-expected consumer price inflation data. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Susan Collins and New York Fed president John Williams said it may take more time to gain the confidence to begin easing policy.

Adding to the losses in the previous session, the Australian stock market is modestly lower on Friday, despite the mostly positive cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is falling below the 7,800 level, with weakness in iron ore miners and energy stocks amid softer commodity prices are partially offset by gains in gold miners and technology stocks.

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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 17.80 points or 0.23 percent to 7,795.80, after hitting a low of 7,765.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 15.60 points or 0.19 percent to 8,058.50. Australian markets ended notably lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, Mineral Resources is edging down 0.3 percent and Rio Tinto is losing almost 1 percent, while BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are declining more than 1 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Origin Energy is edging down 0.4 percent, Santos is losing almost 1 percent and Woodside Energy is declining more than 1 percent, while Beach energy is gaining almost 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is gaining more than 1 percent, Zip is advancing more than 2 percent, Afterpay owner Block is adding almost 1 percent, Xero is edging up 0.4 percent and Appen is surging almost 5 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Westpac is edging up 0.1 percent. ANZ Bank is flat.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Evolution Mining is gaining more than 2 percent, Newmont is edging up 0.3 percent, Resolute Mining is adding more than 4 percent, Gold Road Resources is up more than 1 percent and Northern Star Resources is advancing almost 1 percent.

In other news, shares in Avita Medical plunged 17 percent after the burns treatment business yesterday warned sales for the March quarter dropped below guidance.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.654 on Friday.

Recouping the losses in the previous two sessions, the Japanese stock market is notably higher in choppy trading on Friday, following the mostly positive cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark Nikkei 225 is moving well above the 39,700 level, with gains in exporters and technology stocks as the Japanese yen slipped to a 34-year low.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 39,642.66, up 200.03 points or 0.51 percent, after touching a high of 39,774.82 earlier. Japanese stocks closed notably lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing more than 4 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.1 percent, while Toyota is edging down 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.5 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 1 percent and Screen Holdings is gaining almost 3 percent.

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

Among major exporters, Panasonic and Canon are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Sony is adding almost 2 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is losing more than 1 percent.

Among other major gainers, Mitsui Fudosan and Sumitomo Realty & Development are soaring almost 7 percent each, while Tokyo Tatemono and Mitsubishi Estate are surging almost 6 percent each. Tokyu Fudosan is up more than 4 percent. while Murata Manufacturing and Taiyo Yuden are gaining almost 4 percent each. Lasertec, Nidec and Mercari are adding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Tokyo Electric Power is losing almost 4 percent and Seven & I Holdings is down almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 153 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is down 1.6 percent, while New Zealand, China, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each. Taiwan and Indonesia are up 0.1 and 0.5 percent, respectively.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Thursday, after ending the previous session sharply lower. Technology stocks led the rebound on Wall Street, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq surging to a new record closing high.

The Nasdaq pulled back off its highs of the session going into the close but still ended the day up 271.84 points or 1.7 percent at 16,442.18. The S&P 500 also climbed 38.42 points or 38.42 points or 0.7 percent to 5,199.06, but the narrower Dow edged down 2.43 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 38,459.08.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slumped 0.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices dropped from five-month highs on Thursday amid concerns the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for a longer period due to inflationary pressures. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended down by $1.19 at $85.02 a barrel.

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