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Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Asian Markets Mostly In Negative Territory

by October 17, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday as investors digested Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments that aggressive steps may be required to address the lingering effects of the financial crisis on the U.S. economy.

The Fed chief said it is reasonable to ask whether it might be possible to reverse adverse supply-side effects by temporarily running a ‘high-pressure economy’ with robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market.

The Australian market is drifting lower after Yellen’s comments. Meanwhile, shares of casino operators are falling on news that eighteen employees of Crown Resorts have been detained in China.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 23.50 points or 0.43 percent to 5,410.50, off a low of 5,407.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is losing 24.80 points or 0.45 percent to 5,493.70.

Shares of James Packer’s casinos operator Crown Resorts are losing almost 9 percent following news that China has detained 18 Crown employees amid fears of a crackdown on gambling in that country.

Rival casino operators too are weak. Shares of Sky City Entertainment and Star Entertainment Group are both down more than 4 percent each.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is losing 0.2 percent and Rio Tinto is declining 0.4 percent, while Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 1 percent.

Whitehaven Coal’s shares are gaining almost 4 percent after the miner reported a 20 percent increase in coal production for the September quarter on the back of new coal mines and improving prices.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining is down 0.3 percent and Evolution Mining is losing more than 1 percent. Evolution Mining said it will pay up to A$10 million to Newcrest Mining for the Marsden copper-gold project in central NSW.

In the oil sector, Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are lower by more than 1 percent each, while Santos is declining more than 2 percent as crude oil prices edged lower Friday.

In the banking space, ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.9 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is rising against the U.S. dollar on Monday. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7634, up from US$0.7577 on Friday.

The Japanese market pared some of its early gains and is currently edging higher. Some of the exporters are rising on a weaker yen.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 3.49 points or 0.02 percent to 16,859.86, off a high of 16,954.44.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic is advancing more than 1 percent and Canon is up 0.2 percent, while Toshiba is down 0.4 percent and Sony is losing more than 1 percent. Automaker Toyota is adding 0.2 percent, while Honda is down almost 1 percent.

Fast Retailing is lower by almost 1 percent, while SoftBank is adding 0.2 percent. In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is advancing 0.2 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is rising almost 2 percent, while JX Holdings is declining 0.4 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Dowa Holdings is gaining more than 5 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 2 percent and Casio Computer is adding 2 percent. On the flip side, Tokyo Electric Power is falling almost 8 percent and Konami Holdings is down almost 3 percent.

In economic news, Japan will release final August figures for industrial production today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 104 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are also in negative territory. The South Korean market is edging higher.

On Wall Street, stocks closed slightly higher on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested the central bank should consider running a ‘high-pressure economy’ to address the lingering effects of the financial crisis.

While the Dow rose 39.44 points or 0.2 percent to 18,138.38, the Nasdaq crept up 0.82 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 5,214.16, and the S&P 500 inched up 0.43 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,132.98.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday following recent weakness. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures edged lower Friday, as industry data showed U.S. rig counts continue to rise. WTI crude oil for December slipped $0.09 to close at $50.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX