Asian Markets Mostly Higher
The Australian market is modestly lower. In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is declining 16.30 points or 0.30 percent to 5,491.50, off a low of 5,489.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 12.80 points or 0.23 percent to 5,557.70.
Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is losing more than 2 percent and Rio Tinto is down almost 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is gaining more than 2 percent.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining is lower by 0.2 percent, while Evolution Mining is adding 1 percent after gold prices extended losses on Friday.
In the banking sector, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank are lower in a range of 0.4 percent to more than 1 percent.
In the oil sector, Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are losing almost 3 percent each, while Santos is down more than 2 percent after crude oil prices fell 4 percent Friday.
Metcash reported a 39 percent decline in profit for the first half of the year on nearly flat revenues, citing difficult trading conditions. However, the food and grocery distributor’s shares are rising more than 6 percent.
Shares of Broo Ltd. are gaining more than 14 percent following news that the brewer has secured a distribution deal with Jinxing Beer Group, a large Chinese beer producer.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. In late-morning trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7444, up from US$0.7432 on Friday.
The Japanese market ended a seven-session winning streak and is notably lower, with a stronger yen weighing on exporters’ shares.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 149.30 points or 0.81 percent to 18,231.92, off a low of 18,227.51 earlier.
Among the major exporters, Sony and Panasonic are losing more than 1 percent each, while Toshiba and Canon are adding more than 1 percent each. Automaker Toyota is advancing 1 percent, while Honda is lower by 0.7 percent.
Fast Retailing is losing 0.8 percent and SoftBank is lower by almost 2 percent. In the oil space, Inpex is down almost 2 percent and JX Holdings is losing more than 1 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Konami Holdings is rising more than 2 percent, while Pacific Metals and Mitsubishi Corp are gaining 2 percent each.
On the flip side, Sumco Corp. is lower by more than 4 percent, Suzuki Motor is down more than 3 percent and Taiyo Yuden is losing almost 3 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 111 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan are higher. Meanwhile, Indonesia and Malaysia are lower.
On Wall Street, stocks closed moderately higher on Friday in an abbreviated session. Trading activity on the day was relatively light, however, as many traders remained away from their desks following the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.
The Dow climbed 68.96 points or 0.4 percent to 19,152.14, the Nasdaq rose 18.24 points or 0.3 percent to 5,398.92 and the S&P 500 advanced 8.63 points or 0.4 percent to 2,213.35.
The major European markets also ended modestly higher on Friday. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged up by 0.2 percent.
Crude oil prices moved sharply lower on Friday amid uncertainty about whether the members of OPEC will be able to agree on a cut in production at a meeting next week. WTI crude for December delivery plunged $1.90 or 4 percent to $46.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX