Asian stock markets are mixed on Wednesday following the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street. There are also continuing concerns over an uptick in bond yields and worries over higher inflation affecting valuations. Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday.
The Australian stock market is declining following the weak cues overnight from Wall Street. Worries over higher inflation affecting valuations also weighed on the market.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 60.80 points or 0.89 percent to 6,778.40 and the broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 60.20 points or 0.85 percent to 7,050.60. In the tech space, Appen is falling almost 2 percent, Nanosonics is down nearly 4 percent, Afterpay is lower by more than 7 percent and WiseTech Global is losing more than 3 percent.
Gold miners are higher as gold prices are firmer, with Evolution Mining adding more than 1 percent and Newcrest Mining gaining more than 4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major miners are notably higher, with BHP Group rising more than 3 percent, Fortescue Metals higher by 0.4 percent and Rio Tinto advancing nearly 2 percent.
Oil stocks are also higher, with Oil Search gaining more than 6 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Santos are gaining nearly 6 percent each.
Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are advancing more than 1 percent, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are gaining nearly 2 percent.
Shares of supermarket retailer Woolworths are up more than a percent after it reported a 28 percent jump in net profit after tax for the first half of 2021 to A$1.14 billion from last year. Total revenue grew over 10 per cent to $38.85 billion. It also declared a 15.2 percent higher interim dividend of 53 cents per share.
In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that the total value of construction work done in Australia was unexpectedly down a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2020, coming in at A$51.171 billion. That missed expectations for a growth of 1.0 percent following the 2.6 percent decline in the previous three months.
Additionally, the seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter 2020 and maintained the historically low annual growth rate of 1.4 per cent for a second quarter compared with market forecasts of 1.1 percent annually, according to figures released by the ABS. The latest reading remained the weakest growth on record.
The Japanese stock market is lower on Wednesday with the benchmark Nikkei 225 falling below the 30,000 level as gains in real estate stocks was offset by losses in technology stocks. However, optimism on economic recovery after the pandemic prompted fresh buying in value and cyclical stocks. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 232.21 points or 0.77 percent to 29,923.82, after touching a low of 29,846.17 in early trades.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is declining more than 2 percent while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is up 0.4 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding almost 1 percent, while Toyota is down 0.2 percent.
In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is lower by more than 2 percent and Advantest is down nearly 3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 1.2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining 1.4 percent.
Among major exporters, Panasonic is declining almost 1 percent, Sony is losing nearly 3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is down more than 1 percent, while Canon is edging up 0.5 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Yokohama Rubber is gaining almost 9 percent, Pacific Metals is adding nearly 8 percent, Sumitomo Metal Mining is up over 7 percent and Shinsei Bank is gaining 6 percent, while Mitsui Mining and Smelting, Fujikura, ANA Holdings, Mitsui OSKLines and DOWA are rising more than 5 percent each.
Conversely, Olympus is losing nearly 5 percent, while Konica Minolta and Terumo are lower by more than 4 percent each and Daikin Industries in down nearly 4 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 105 yen-range on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is declining more than 1 percent, while China, Singapore, New Zealand and Taiwan are also lower. Singapore is rising more than 1 percent, while Malaysia and Indonesia are also higher. On Wall Street, stocks showed a substantial recovery over the course of the trading day on Tuesday after moving sharply lower early in the session. The major averages climbed well off their early lows, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching positive territory. The Dow plunged by more than 360 points in early trading but ended the day up 15.66 points or 0.1 percent at 31,537.35. The S&P 500 also inched up 4.87 points or 0.1 percent to 3,881.37 after tumbling by as much as 71 points. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished the session down 67.85 points or 0.5 percent at 13,465.20 but was well off the nearly one-month intraday low set in early trading.
The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both inched up by 0.2 percent.
Crude oil prices ended slightly lower on Tuesday after surging in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.03 at $61.67 a barrel.