Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Tuesday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with a steep drop in crude oil prices and the surge in the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus and the resultant restrictions in several countries as well as disappointing Chinese economic data and geopolitical concerns weighing on investor sentiment. Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday.
Traders remain optimistic about the outlook for the markets despite some signs of weakness in the global economy. They also await the minutes from the U.S. Fed’s latest meeting for cues on the economic outlook.
The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Tuesday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,500 level off recent all-time highs, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders remain concerned about the domestic coronavirus situation, primarily in New South Wales, with extension of certain coronavirus restrictions and reinstatement of night curfew is some areas threatening to weigh on the economy.
NSW has reported 452 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and one death on Monday, with Western Sydney suburbs currently of most affected. Victoria also recorded 24 new locally acquired cases, with the active cases totalling 227 across Victoria. ACT also records 17 new cases, taking the outbreak cluster total to 45.
Further, traders are awaiting the Reserve Bank of Australia’s release of the minutes of its monetary policy meeting later in the day.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 72.30 points or 0.95 percent to the day’s low of 7,510.20. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 72.60 points or 0.93 percent to 7,777.00. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Monday.
Among the major miners, BHP Group is losing more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is declining more than 4 percent, while Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are edging down 0.5 percent each. Rio Tinto is down almost 1 percent. Oil stocks are lower after crude oil prices tumbled overnight. Santos and Oil Search are losing more than 1 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum is down almost 2 percent. Beach energy is declining more than 4 percent. Origin Energy is lower by almost 1 percent. Santos has rebounded from the COVID-19 oil price crash to deliver a half-year profit as it pursues a $22 billion merger with rival Oil Search.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is losing more than 2 percent, while National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are down almost 1 percent each. Westpac is declining almost 2 percent. Among tech stocks, Xero, WiseTech Global and Afterpay are edging down 0.5 percent each, while Appen is losing almost 1 percent.
Gold miners are mostly lower. Resolute Mining is losing almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.2 percent, while Northern Star Resources and Gold Road Resources are gaining almost 1 percent each. Evolution Mining is edging up 0.5 percent.
In other news, shares in Sims Metal, Breville Group, Dexus, Sezzle, ARB and Magellan Financial were all lower after reporting their financial results.
In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes from its monetary policy meeting on August 3. At the meeting, Australia’s central bank left its key interest rate and the government bond yield target unchanged, as widely expected.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.731 on Tuesday.
The Japanese stock market is slightly higher on Tuesday, after three straight sessions of losses, with the benchmark Nikkei index just below the 27,600 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, on some upbeat earnings reports, even as traders remain spooked as coronavirus’s delta variant infections remain at record levels, with more prefectures under the state of emergency and experts calling for expanding it to the whole country.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 27,569.84 up 46.65 points or 0.17 percent, after touching a high of 27,750.39 earlier. Japanese shares closed sharply lower on Monday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging down 0.4 percent each.
In the tech space, Advantest is edging down 0.4 percent, while Screen Holdings is adding more than 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.5 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.3 percent. Mizuho Financial is flat. The major exporters are mixed, with Sony losing more than 1 percent, Panasonic is edging down 0.5 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is down almost 1 percent, while Canon is adding 0.6 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is gaining more than 4 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is adding almost 4 percent, while Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen K.K., Konami Holdings and Nippon Sheet Glass are up almost 3 percent each. Citizen Watch, Mitsui E&S Holdings, Nissan Chemical, Nippon Electric Glass and Terumo are all higher by more than 2 percent each.
Conversely, Tokai Carbon is losing more than 4 percent and Shiseido is down more than 3 percent, while Toho Zinc and Furukawa Electric are lower by almost 3 percent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 109 yen-range on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia are gaining between 0.1 and 0.9 percent each, respectively, while South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are lower by between 0.3 and 0.8 percent each. China is relatively. Markets in Indonesia are closed for Independence Day holiday.