Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trades

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Friday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, as the markets struggle for direction as traders digest mixed economic data from the region and the US. Optimism about an interest rate cut by the US Fed this year helped keep investor sentiment somewhat positive, but rising geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East weighed on the markets. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Friday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is moving to near the 7,800 level, with gains in mining and energy stocks amid a spike in commodity prices, partially offset by some weakness in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 9.80 points or 0.13 percent to 7,779.20, after touching a high of 7,796.90 and a low of 7,753.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 8.10 points or 0.10 percent to 8,020.20. Australian markets ended on a flat note on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are edging up 0.3 to 0.5 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is losing 1.5 percent and Mineral Resources is declining almost 5 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Santos and Beach energy are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Origin Energy is adding almost 1 percent and Woodside Energy is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block and Xero are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Appen is losing more than 2 percent, WiseTech Global is edging down 0.5 percent and Zip is down almost 2 percent.

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

Gold miners are mostly higher. Evolution Mining, Newmont and Northern Star Resources are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Resolute Mining is adding more than 2 percent and Gold Road Resources is surging almost 4 percent.

In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to contract in June, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Judo Bank revealed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 47.5. That’s down from 49.7 in May and it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI slower to 51.0 in June from 52.5 in May. The composite index came in at 50.6 in May, down from 52.1 in May.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.666 on Friday.

Giving up some of the modest gains in the previous session, the Japanese stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Friday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark Nikkei 225 is staying above the 38,600 level, with weakness in technology stocks partially offset gains in index heavyweights, exporters and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 38,626.95, down 6.07 points or 0.02 percent, after touching a high of 38,795.68 and low of 38,579.93 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding 1.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.4 percent and Toyota is also edging up 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 2 percent, Tokyo Electron is declining more than 1 percent and Screen Holdings is down almost 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are edging up 0.3 to 0.5 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is gaining more than 1 percent.

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

Among other major gainers, IHI is soaring more than 6 percent, Otsuka Holdings is surging almost 5 percent and Sumitomo Metal Mining is gaining more than 4 percent, while NTT Data, Sumitomo Pharma and Shiseido are adding more than 3 percent each. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Oriental Land, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Tokio Marine and Astellas Pharma are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, TDK is losing almost 3 percent.

In economic news, overall consumer prices in Japan were up 2.8 percent on year in May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 2.6 percent and up from 2.5 percent in April. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, inflation rose 0.5 percent – again above forecasts for 0.2 percent and up from 0.4 percent in the previous month.

The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in June, albeit at a slower rate, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 50.1. That’s down from 50.4 in May, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services PMI slowed to 49.8 in June from 53.8 in May.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 158 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.8 percent each, while China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are lower by between 0.2 and 1.3 percent each. New Zealand is relatively flat.

On Wall Street, stocks indexes moved in starkly opposite directions during trading on Thursday following a modest move to the upside early in the session. While the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 pulled back off their early highs and into negative territory, the narrower Dow saw continued strength.

The Dow ended the day up 299.90 points or 0.8 percent at a nearly one-month closing high of 39,134.76, but the S&P 500 fell 13.86 points or 0.3 percent to 5,473.17 and the Nasdaq slumped 140.64 points or 0.8 percent to 17,721.59.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved notably higher on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index surged by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index jumped by 1.0 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Crude oil prices advanced on Thursday after data showed crude inventories in the U.S. fell slightly more than expected last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended higher by $0.60 at $82.17 a barrel.

Check out our free forex signals
Follow the top economic events on FX Leaders economic calendar
Trade better, discover more Forex Trading Strategies
ABOUT THE AUTHOR See More
Avatar
RTT Staff Writer
Related Articles
Comments
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments