Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Friday, following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street, with support from technology stocks which mirroring their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. The markets were also dragged after crude oil and bullion prices tumbled on the US dollar’s surge. The markets also remain tense amid the continuing high number of infections in most markets. Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday.
Australian stock market is modestly higher after recouping early losses on Friday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 just below the 7,400 level near all-time highs, as strong gains in technology stocks offset weakness across most other sectors after crude oil and bullion prices tumbled on US dollar’s surge.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 23.60 points or 0.32 percent to 7,382.60, after touching a high of 7,403.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 32.20 points or 0.42 percent to 7,632.70. Australian markets ended modestly lower on Thursday.
Among major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are losing more than 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are down almost 2 percent each. Mineral Resources is edging up 0.4 percent.
Oil stocks are lower after crude oil prices tumbled overnight. Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are losing more than 2 percent each, while Santos is declining more than 3 percent, Beach energy is lower by almost 1 percent and Origin Energy is edging down 0.2 percent.
Tech stocks are mirroring their counterparts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Afterpay is soaring more than 7 percent, Xero are gaining more than 4 percent, WiseTech Global is adding more than 3 percent and Appen is up almost 3 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ Banking are losing almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is down more than 1 percent.
Gold miners lower after gold prices dropped overnight. Evolution Mining is losing more than 1 percent, Resolute Mining is down almost 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is declining almost 4 percent, Northern Star Resources is lower by almost 2 percent and Gold Road Resources is edging down 0.4 percent.
In other news, shares in Bubs Australia skyrocketed more than 21 percent on news that its Aussie Bubs branded formulas will enter the lucrative US infant formula through the e-commerce platform of retail giant Walmart and Amazon.com.
Software firm Altium revised it guidance to now likely be at or slightly below the lower end of its previous outlook after a slow first half due to the impact of COVID. However, it added that Altium’s business returned with double-digit growth in the second half. The stock is up more than 3 percent.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.755 on Friday.
The Japanese stock market is modestly higher in choppy trading on Friday, after the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 just above the 29,100 level, following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street. Traders are optimistic after the Japanese government decided to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency in most prefectures on Sunday following a steady decline in COVID-19 infections. Traders also await the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision later in the day.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,107.98, up 89.65 points or 0.31 percent, after touching a high of 29,136.74 earlier. Japanese shares closed notably lower on Thursday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 2 percent, while Toyota and Mazda are down more than 2 percent each.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 2 percent, while Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are adding more than 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are losing more than 2 percent, while Mizuho Financial is down almost 2 percent.
Among major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Panasonic is edging up 0.3 percent. Canon is losing almost 2 percent.
In other news, shares in Eisai are gaining more than 9 percent after it reached a strategic collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the co-development and co-commercialization of MORAb-202, an antibody drug conjugate or ADC. Bristol-Myers will pay $650 million to Eisai, which is also entitled to receive up to $2.45 billion in potential future development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.
Among the other major gainers, Sumco, M3, CyberAgent and Terumo are adding almost 3 percent each, while Yokogawa Electric and Toyobo are up more than 2 percent each.
Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is losing more than 8 percent, while Nippon Yusen K.K. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines are down almost 8 percent each. Dai-ichi Life Holdings is lower by almost 5 percent, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries, JFE Holdings and Sompo Holdings are down more than 4 percent each. Showa Denko K.K. and JTEKT are losing almost 4 percent each, while Nippon Sheet Glass, Pacific Metals, Shiseido and Kobe Steel are down more than 3 percent each.
In economic news, overall consumer prices in Japan were down 0.1 percent on year in May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday, following the 0.4 percent contraction in April. On a monthly basis, inflation was up 0.3 percent after sinking 0.4 percent in the previous month. Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food costs, were up 0.1 percent on year after falling 0.1 percent a month earlier. Core CPI was up 0.2 percent on month.
The Bank of Japan is scheduled to wrap up its monetary policy meeting on Friday and then announce its decision on interest rates. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate steady at -0.1 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 110 yen-range on Friday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea are higher by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent each, while Indonesia, Singapore and Shanghai are lower by between 0.3 and 0.5 percent each. Malaysia and Taiwan are flat.
On Wall Street, stocks turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday following the broad-based weakness seen in the previous session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a notable rebound, while the Dow extended a recent downward trend.
The major averages ended the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq advanced 121.67 points or 0.9 percent to 14,161.35, the Dow slid 210.22 points or 0.6 percent to 33,823.45 and the S&P 500 edged down 1.84 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,221.86.
The major European markets also ended the day mixed. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.2 percent.
Crude oil prices tumbled on Thursday, weighed down by a stronger dollar after Federal Reserve officials projected that interest rates might be hiked by 2023. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended down by $1.11 or 1.5 percent at $71.04 a barrel.
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