Asian Markets Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, as trader’s book some profits after the recent rally on the heels encouraging US inflation data. There is also optimism about the US Fed being close to ending its monetary policy tightening. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Friday.

The Australian stock market is slightly lower on Monday, snapping the four-session winning streak, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling a tad below the 7,300 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders remain cautious ahead of the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s June monetary policy meeting minutes on Tuesday. They are also booking some profits after the recent rally.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 9.00 points or 0.12 percent to 7,294.10, after hitting a low of 7,278.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 10.10 points or 0.13 percent to 7,507.00. Australian stocks closed significantly higher on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.1 percent, while Rio Tinto is edging down 0.1 percent. Mineral Resources and Fortescue Metals are flat.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is losing almost 1 percent and Origin Energy is edging down 0.3 percent, while Beach energy and Woodside Energy are declining more than 1 percent each.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block and Appen are losing more than 1 percent each, while Zip is declining more than 2 percent. WiseTech Global is gaining almost 1 percent. Xero is flat.

Gold miners are mixed lower. Gold Road Resources is losing more than 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.2 percent and Resolute Mining is declining almost 2 percent, while Evolution Mining is gaining 2.5 percent and Northern Star Resources is adding almost 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking is edging down 0.1 percent, while National Australia Bank is edging up 0.4 percent. Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are flat.

In other news, shares of Endeavour Group are plunging almost 11 percent after the Victorian government’s decision to lower poker machine pre-commitment caps to $100 a day, and close pokies in clubs between 4 am and 10 am.

Share in Vulcan Steel are dipping almost 5 percent after the steel distributor downgraded its earnings outlook for the full year.

Shares in IGO are slipping more than 6 percent after the nickel miner flagged a non-cash and pre-tax impairment of $880 million to $980 million for assets it acquired from Western Areas in June 2022.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.682 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is closed on Monday on account of Marine Day holiday. Japanese shares ended slightly lower on Friday.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-138 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, China is down 1.1 percent, while New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia are lower by between 0.2 and 0.5 percent each. Taiwan and Indonesia are up 0.2 and 0.7 percent, respectively. Trading in Hong Kong is delayed due to storm.

On Wall Street, stocks extended their recent rally in early trading on Friday but gave back ground over the course of the session. The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 dipping into negative territory.

The major averages eventually ended the session narrowly mixed. While the Dow rose 113.89 points or 0.3 percent to 34,509.03, the Nasdaq slipped 24.87 points or 0.2 percent to 14,113.70 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.62 points or 0.1 percent to 4,505.42.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices fell on Friday, due largely on profit taking after recent gains, but posted a weekly rise. The dollar’s modest recovery from lower levels too weighed a bit on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended lower by $1.47 or about 1.9 percent at $75.42 a barrel. WTI Crude futures gained about 2 percent in the week.

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