Asian Markets In Negative Territory
The Australian market is notably lower following the negative lead from Wall Street and lower crude oil prices. Investors also digested local inflation data, which showed that a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia before Christmas was unlikely as inflation picked up.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 74.90 points or 1.38 percent to 5,367.90, slightly off a low of 5,364.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 71.80 points or 1.30 percent to 5,451.50.
In the banking sector, ANZ Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are lower in a range of 0.8 percent to 1.4 percent.
In the oil sector, Oil Search is losing almost 3 percent, Santos is down almost 4 percent and Woodside Petroleum is losing 2 percent as crude oil prices fell overnight.
Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is adding 0.6 percent and Fortescue Metals is rising 0.4 percent on higher iron ore and metals prices, while BHP Billiton is down almost 1 percent.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining is down 0.2 percent, while Evolution Mining is advancing more than 1 percent after gold prices rose overnight.
Dreamworld operator Ardent Leisure’s shares are extending their sharp losses from the previous session and are down almost 11 percent, following news that four people were killed in an accident at the company’s Gold Coast theme park on Tuesday.
Ainsworth Game Technology’s shares are falling more than 10 percent after the poker machine maker warned that its first-half profits were hit by poor sales in Australia.
Coles’ food and liquor sales rose 2.9 percent in the first quarter, compared to growth of 3.5 percent in the preceding quarter. Shares of parent company Wesfarmers are down 5 percent.
Ramsay Health Care reiterated its profit outlook for the current financial year. The private hospitals operator’s shares are advancing more than 1 percent.
In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that consumer prices in Australia advanced 1.3 percent on year in the third quarter of 2016. That exceeded forecasts for 1.1 percent following the 1.0 percent increase in the previous three months.
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s trimmed mean was up 0.4 percent on quarter, in line with expectations and down from 0.5 percent. It was up 1.7 percent on year, unchanged and matching forecasts.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar. In late-morning trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7647, up from US$0.7634 on Tuesday.
The Japanese market is modestly lower, following the weak cues overnight from Wall Street and as a slightly stronger yen weighed on exporters’ shares.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 24.28 points or 0.14 percent to 17,340.97, off a low of 17,295.46 earlier.
The major exporters are weak. Panasonic is lower by more than 1 percent, Toshiba is losing almost 1 percent, Canon is declining 0.6 percent and Sony is down 0.5 percent. Automaker Toyota is declining 0.4 percent and Honda is lower by 0.6 percent.
Fast Retailing is losing 1 percent, while SoftBank is higher by 0.4 percent. In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.06 percent.
In the oil sector, Inpex is declining more than 1 percent and JX Holdings is unchanged after crude oil prices slipped overnight.
Among the other major gainers, Taiheiyo Cement is gaining more than 9 percent, while Nippon Suisan Kaisha and NTT DoCoMo are rising more than 2 percent each.
On the flip side, Mitsubishi Motors is down 4 percent, Komatsu is losing almost 4 percent and Nippon Electric Glass is lower by more than 3 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 104 yen-range on Wednesday.
On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 0.3 percent on year in September. That exceeded forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent, which would have been unchanged from August.
Japan will also see October results for small business confidence today.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are all lower.
On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower on Tuesday as traders reacted to the latest batch of earnings news, with a number of big-name companies releasing their quarterly results.
The Dow fell 8.16 points or 0.4 percent to 2,143.15, the Nasdaq slid 26.43 points or 0.5 percent to 5,283.40 and the S&P 500 dropped 53.76 points or 0.3 percent to 18,169.27.
The major European markets ended mixed on Tuesday. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged line and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.3 percent.
Crude oil futures tumbled Tuesday ahead of the closely-watched U.S. oil inventories data. December WTI oil fell 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $49.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX