(RTTNews) – Asian stock markets are mostly down on Friday, following broadly negative signals from Wall Street overnight, with weakness across all industry sectors, especially tech stocks. Traders remain concerned and cautious amid the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in most countries and the likely economic impact of related new restrictions. Asian markets mostly ended higher on Thursday.
Rising bond yields and interest rate concerns also dragged markets into the red. Most analysts believe that a rate hike of at least 25 basis points by the FOMC is imminent in March. Ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, US President Joe Biden backed central bank plans to scale back stimulus, saying controlling inflation was a key task for the Federal Reserve. .
The Australian stock market is down sharply on Friday, giving up slight gains from the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index remaining above the 7,200 level, following broadly negative signals from Wall Street overnight. , with weakness across all industry sectors, particularly materials, gold mining and technology stocks.
Traders remain concerned about domestic Covid-19 cases, although down slightly. New South Wales reported 25,168 new cases and 46 deaths on Thursday and Victoria also reported 18,167 new cases and 29 deaths. Queensland recorded 16,031 new cases and 13 deaths, while Tasmania reported 866 new cases and the first death.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 lost 140.70 points or 1.92% to 7,201.70, after hitting a low of 7,197.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 150.80 points or 1.97% at 7,518.10. Australian markets ended slightly higher on Thursday.
Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is down almost 3%, mineral resources are down almost 4% and BHP Group is down more than 3%, while Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are down almost 2% each.
BHP’s investors in London and Sydney have approved plans to scrap its dual listing in favor of a primary listing in Sydney.
Oil inventories are lower. Woodside Petroleum lost 2.5% and Santos fell more than 2%, while Origin Energy and Beach energy fell more than 3% each. Among tech stocks, Appen fell 0.3%, WiseTech Global fell almost 1% and Zip slipped almost 5%, while Xero was flat.
Among the big four banks, Westpac is stable, while Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are down almost 1% each.
Gold miners are less numerous. Evolution Mining is down nearly 1%, Newcrest Mining is down 1.5% and Northern Star Resources is down 0.4%, while Resolute Mining and Gold Road Resources are down more than 1% each. In the currency market, the Australian dollar is trading at $0.720 on Friday.
The Japanese stock market is trading sharply lower on Friday, giving up gains from the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,400 level, following broadly negative signals from Wall Street overnight, with weakness in most industrial sectors, especially technology. stocks, as traders digested the latest domestic inflation figures.
Traders also remain worried and cautious as new daily COVID-19 cases continue to hit new record highs for the third day in a row, with new cases of the fast-spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus topping 46,000 on Thursday. Japan is expected to place 16 of the 47 prefectures under near-emergency from Friday.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed the morning session at 27,377.44, down 395.49 points or 1.42%, after hitting a low of 27,129.61 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly higher on Thursday.
The SoftBank group, heavyweight in the market, and the Uniqlo operator, Fast Retailing, lost more than 1% each. Among automakers, Honda is up 0.3%, while Toyota is down nearly 3%.
In technology, Advantest lost nearly 4%, while Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron fell nearly 6% each.
In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial lost more than 1% each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial lost nearly 2%.
Among major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is up 0.1%, while Panasonic is down 0.3%, Canon is down 1.5% and Sony is down nearly 3%.
Among the other big losers, Inpex plunged nearly 7%, while Denso, JTEKT, Isuzu Motors and Fujikura lost nearly 5% each. Mazda Motor, Showa Denko KK, Ricoh and Hino Motors are down more than 4% each, while Taiyo Yuden, CyberAgent and Tokai Carbon are down nearly 4% each. Conversely, Konami Holdings gains more than 4%. In economic news, consumer prices in Japan rose 0.8 percent year on year overall in December, the Interior and Communications Ministry said on Friday. That was in line with expectations and up from 0.6% in November. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, headline inflation and core CPI both rose 0.1%. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, rose 0.5% a year, unchanged but below forecasts of 0.6%.
The Bank of Japan will also publish the minutes of its monetary policy meeting on December 16-17. At the meeting, the BoJ decided to scale back its pandemic-related funding measures, ending additional purchases of CP and corporate bonds at the end of March. 2022 as planned. The Board of Directors decided to maintain the interest rate at -0.1% on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the central bank.
In the currency market, the US dollar is trading in the upper range of 113 yen on Friday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan fell 1.2% and South Korea lost 1.0%, while New Zealand, China, Singapore and Malaysia fell 0.1 to 0.8% each. Indonesia bucked the trend and posted an increase of 0.3%. Hong Kong is relatively stable with a negative bias.
On Wall Street, stocks were unable to hold onto their early gains on Thursday, opening solidly higher but fading as the day progressed before ending firmly in negative territory for the third session. consecutive.
For the day, the Dow Jones fell 313.26 points or 0.89% to end at 34,715.39, while the NASDAQ plunged 186.23 points or 1.30% to close at 14,154.02 and the S&P 500 fell 50.03 points or 1.10% to end at 4,482.73.
Meanwhile, major European markets ended the day on a mixed note. While the German DAX gained 0.65% and the French CAC 40 gained 0.3%, the British FTSE 100 fell slightly by 0.06%.
Crude oil prices fell on Thursday after hitting a seven-year high in the previous session on demand optimism and supply disruptions. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell $0.67 or 0.77% to $86.29 a barrel.
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