Asian Markets Trade Mixed

Asian stock markets are mixed in thin holiday trading volumes on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders are reluctant to make significant moves as they brace for the biggest interest rate hike since 2000 of 50 basis points by the US Federal Reserve later in the day and other monetary policy tightening by European Central Bank and the Bank of England later this week. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

Traders are also likely to look to the accompanying statements from the Fed for clues about how aggressively the central bank plans to tighten monetary policy.

Lingering worries also remain about the Covid-19 lockdowns in China and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The Australian stock market is slightly lower on Wednesday after being in the green most of the morning session, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,300 level, despite the broadly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders cautiously await the potential 0.50 basis points interest rate hike by the US Fed after the Reserve Bank of Australia raised its cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.35 percent yesterday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 4.70 points or 0.06 percent to 7,311.50, after touching a high of 7,366.80 and low of 7,306.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 12.40 points or 0.16 percent to 7,575.20. Australian stocks ended modestly lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group, Mineral Resources and Rio Tinto are up almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is edging up 0.4 percent and OZ Minerals is flat.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos is up 1.5 percent and Woodside Petroleum is gaining more than 1 percent, while Origin Energy and Beach energy are adding almost 2 percent each.

In the tech space, WiseTech Global is losing 1.5 percent, Zip is declining more than 5 percent, Appen is down almost 1 percent and Block is slipping more than 2 percent, while Xero is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are gaining almost 1 percent each, while ANZ Banking is edging up 0.2 percent after it reported first-half cash profit that topped analyst estimates. The bank also forecast improved second-half margins.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources and Resolute Mining is up almost 1 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is adding more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is edging 0.4 percent.

In economic news, the services sector in Australia continued to expand in April, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from S&P Global showed on Wednesday with a services PMI score of 56.1. That’s up from 55.6 in March and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line. The survey also showed that the composite index improved to 55.9 in April from 55.1 in March.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.711 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is closed on Wednesday on account of Greenery Day holiday. Japanese shares ended slightly lower on Monday prior to the Constitution Day holiday on Tuesday.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 130 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is losing 1.0 percent, while Taiwan is up 0.4 percent. New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea are relatively flat. China is closed for Labor Day holiday, while Indonesia and Malaysia are closed for Eid-ul-Fitr holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday after a choppy session with investors largely staying cautious and refraining from making significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement.

The major averages all ended modestly higher despite staying quite sluggish for much of the day’s session. The Dow ended with a gain of 67.29 points or 0.2 percent at 33,128.79 after moving between 32,914.75 and 33,341.58. The S&P 500 settled at 4,175.48, gaining 20.10 points or 0.48 percent, while the Nasdaq moved up 27.74 points or 0.22 percent to 12,563.76.

The major European markets also closed higher, bouncing back on bargain hunting after sharp losses in the previous session. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.22 percent, Germany’s DAX surged up 0.72 percent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.79 percent.
Crude oil prices fell sharply Tuesday on rising concefor June sank $2.76 or 2.6 percent at $102.41 a barrel.

Source: Read Full Article