Asian Markets Track Global Markets Lower

Influenced by the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Wednesday, with traders remaining cautious after the US Fed recently forecast another rate hike before the end of the year and keeping rates at elevated levels for longer than previously anticipated. The US dollar also continued its strength against major currencies in the region. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned in an interview with The Times of India that rates could go as high as 7 percent.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari also wrote in an essay posted on Tuesday that there is a 40 percent chance the Federal Reserve will have to push rates “meaningfully higher” to combat stubborn services inflation.

Australian shares are losing for the second straight session on Wednesday, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying just above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted to data showing a rise in domestic monthly inflation, which matched forecasts.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 17.30 points or 0.25 percent to 7,020.90, after hitting a low of 7,002.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 18.10 points or 0.25 percent to 7,220.20. Australian stocks ended notably lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are edging up 0.3 percent, while Fortescue Metals is gaining more than 1 percent. Mineral Resources is losing almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Beach energy is gaining more than 1 percent, while Origin Energy and Santos are edging up 0.1 percent. Woodside Energy is edging down 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is losing almost 1 percent, WiseTech Global is down more than 1 percent and Xero is edging down 0.5 percent. Zip and Appen are flat.

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

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is declining more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is losing almost 3 percent, Newcrest Mining is slipping almost 2 percent and Resolute Mining is down more than 2 percent, while Gold Road Resources is gaining almost 1 percent.

In other news, shares in Star Entertainment are plunging more than 13 percent after the embattled casino operator raised $565 million from institutional investors after offering new shares at $0.60 apiece.

In economic news, Australia’s monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator rose 5.2 percent in the year to August 2023, accelerating from a 4.9 percent gain in the year to July 2023 and matched the market consensus. It was the first increase in annual inflation since April. Inflation remained well above the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target range of 2 to 3 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.639 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is notably lower on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 32,200 level, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors, led by index heavyweights and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,163.71, down 151.34 points or 0.47 percent, after hitting a low of 31,960.32 earlier. Japanese stocks ended sharply lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is declining more than 2 percent and Toyota is edging down 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are edging down 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.1 percent.

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

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

Among other major losers, Nidec is losing more than 3 percent, while Teijin, Keisei Electric Railway, Tokyo Electric Power, GS Yuasa and Chubu Electric Power are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no other major gainers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 148 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.1 and 0.7 percent each, while China, Hong Kong and Indonesia are higher by between 0.3 and 0.7 percent each.

On the Wall Street, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, more than offsetting the moderate rebound seen during Monday’s session. The major averages all showed significant moves to the downside, falling to their lowest closing levels in over three months.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but still posted steep losses. The Dow slumped 388.00 points or 1.1 percent to 33,618.88, the Nasdaq plunged 207.71 points or 1.6 percent to 13,063.61 and the S&P 500 tumbled 63.91 points or 1.5 percent to 4,273.53.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slumped by 1.0 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.7 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index bucked the downtrend and closed just above the unchanged line.

Crude oil futures moved back to the upside during trading on Tuesday as ongoing concerns about tight supplies overshadowed worries about the global economic outlook. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November delivery climbed $0.71 or 0.8 percent to $90.39 a barrel.

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