Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Friday, despite the negative cues from Wall Street overnight, boosted by sharp rise for stocks in Hong Kong and China, even as traders continue to digest the fourth straight 75-basis point interest rate hike by the US Fed, and the hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that signaled more interest rate hikes in the coming months. Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday.

The Bank of England too raised its benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points, the biggest hike in 33 years.

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Friday after being in the red most of the morning session, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 6,900 level, despite the mostly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, boosted by energy stocks amid a spike in crude oil prices, partially offset by weakness in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 24.40 points or 0.36 percent to 6,882.30, after hitting a low of 6,829.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 26.80 points or 0.38 percent to 7,077.40. Australian markets ended sharply lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group, OZ Minerals and Rio Tinto are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent, while Mineral Resources is gaining almost 4 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Origin Energy is gaining almost 2 percent, Beach energy is edging up 0.4 percent, Woodside Energy is adding 2.5 percent and Santos is up more than 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Appen is losing more than 3 percent and Zip is flat. Xero and WiseTech Global are edging down 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Afterpay owner Block is soaring almost 11 percent on better-than-expected results for the third quarter.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is edging down 0.5 percent, Commonwealth Bank is down more than 1 percent and ANZ Banking is losing almost 1 percent, while Westpac is edging up 0.3 percent.

Gold miners are mixed. Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources are edging up 0.3 percent each, while Resolute Mining, Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are flat.

In economic news, the total value of retail sales in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on month in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Friday – coming in at A$35.096 billion. That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the August reading. On a yearly basis, retail sales jumped 17.9 percent. For the third quarter of 2022, the value of retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on quarter and 10.0 percent on year to A$97.148 billion.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.632 on Friday.

The Japanese stock market is sharply lower in post-holiday trading on Friday, extending the slight losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling to nearly the 27,200 mark, following the mostly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with traders digesting the fourth straight 75-basis point interest rate hike by the US Fed, and the hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that signaled more interest rate hikes in the coming months.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,103.17, down 560.22 points or 2.03 percent, after hitting a low of 27,032.02. Japanese stocks closed slightly lower on Wednesday prior to a holiday on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are losing almost 2 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are declining almost 3 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is losing almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial is losing almost 1 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is flat.

Among major exporters, Canon and Panasonic are losing more than 1 percent each, while Sony is down almost 1 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among the other major losers, Z Holdings is plummeting almost 13 percent, M3 is plunging almost 9 percent, Nippon Suisan Kaisha is sliding more than 8 percent, AGC is slipping almost 8 percent, Minebea Mitsumi is declining almost 6 percent, Shiseido is losing more than 5 percent and Terumo is down more than 4 percent, while NEXON, Keyence, Yamato Holdings, Dai Nippon Printing are dipping almost 4 percent each. Nippon Sheet Glass, Yokogawa Electric and Kikkoman are down more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Mitsubishi Motors is soaring more than 16 percent after net income soared in the first-half and boosts guidance, Konica Minolta is surging more than 7 percent and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is gaining 3.5 percent.

In economic news, the services sector in Japan continued to expand in October, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Friday with a services PMI score of 53.2. That’s up from 52.2 in September, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The report also showed that Japan’s Composite PMI rose to 51.8 in October from 5.0 in September.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 148 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is soaring 4.2 percent and China is up 1.4 percent, while New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.6 percent each. Indonesia and Taiwan are down 0.5 and 0.2 percent, each.

On Wall Street, stocks fell on Thursday, extending losses to a fourth straight session, as slowing growth and rising interest rates dampened investors sentiment. The fourth straight 75-basis point interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, and comments from the central bank Chair Jerome Powell that signaled more interest rate hikes in the coming months rendered the mood bearish.

The major averages all ended in the red despite seeing a modest recovery from early lows. The Dow ended with a loss of 146.51 points or 0.46 percent at 32,001.25, the S&P 500 settled at 3,719.89, losing 39.80 points or 1.06 percent and the Nasdaq ended with a loss of 181.86 points or 1.73 percent at 10,342.94.

The major European markets too mostly ended weak. Germany’s DAX shed 0.95 percent and France’s CAC 40 declined 0.54 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.62 percent.

Crude oil prices settled sharply lower Thursday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand. The dollar’s sharp uptick following hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve also weighed on crude oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December sank $1.83 or 2 percent at $88.17 a barrel.

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