Mirroring the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, Asian stock markets are a sea of red on Thursday, amid renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates after the US Fed signaled on keeping interest rates at an elevated level through 2024 after one more rate hike this year, despite the decision to hold interest rates steady this month. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday.
The forecast for rates at the end of 2024 was raised to 5.1 percent from 4.6 percent in June, while the outlook for rates at the end of 2025 was increased to 3.9 percent from 3.4 percent
The Fed’s next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for October 31 to November 1, with CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicating a 73.6 percent chance rates will remain unchanged and a 26.4 percent chance of a quarter point rate increase.
The focus has now shifted to policy meetings of the Bank of England and Bank of Japan later in the day, as well as the Swiss National Bank on Friday.
The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 7,100 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with weakness across most sectors, led by technology, mining and energy stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 85.00 points or 1.19 percent to 7,078.30, after hitting a low of 7,069.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 84.10 points or 1.14 percent to 7,277.80. Australian stocks ended notably lower on Wednesday.
Among major miners, BHP Group and Mineral Resources are losing almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.3 percent. Rio Tinto is edging up 0.4 percent.
Oil stocks are lower. Santos and Origin Energy are edging down 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while Beach energy is down more than 1 percent and Woodside Energy is losing almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is losing almost 4 percent, WiseTech Global is down more than 1 percent and Appen is slipping almost 2 percent, while Zip is gaining almost 2 percent. Xero is flat.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.3 percent, while National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are losing almost 1 percent each.
Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is losing almost 2 percent, Resolute Mining is declining more than 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.3 percent and Gold Road Resources is down almost 1 percent, while Evolution Mining is edging up 0.1 percent.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.641 on Thursday.
The Japanese stock market is sharply lower on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 32,700 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with losses in exporters and technology stocks partially offset by gains in financial stocks.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 32,647.72, down 376.06 points or 1.14 percent, after hitting a low of 32,642.68 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Wednesday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is flat and Honda is losing almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 3 percent, Tokyo Electron is down more than 1 percent and Screen Holdings is declining almost 1 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining almost 3 percent, while Mizuho Financial is and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are adding almost 2 percent each.
Among the major exporters, Panasonic is losing almost 3 percent, Sony is declining almost 2 percent, Canon is edging down 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is slipping more than 1 percent.
Among other major losers, Keyence is plunging more than 5 percent and Keisei Electric Railway is losing more than 4 percent, while Taiyo Yuden, Hoya, Yaskawa Electric and Murata Manufacturing are declining almost 4 percent each. SMC, CyberAgent, Konami Group, Eisai, Nidec and Renesas Electronics are all down more than 3 percent each, while Panasonic, Recruit Holdings and Olympus are slipping almost 3 percent each.
Conversely, Tokyo Electric Power is gaining 4.5 percent, while Chubu Electric Power, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust and Mitsui Chemicals are adding almost 3 percent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 148 yen-range on Thursday.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is losing 1.4 percent, while Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are down 1.2 percent each. New Zealand, China, Malaysia and Indonesia are lower by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each.
On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Wednesday, with renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates weighing on the markets. The major averages spent much of the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line but all came under pressure late in the trading day
The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the way lower, tumbling 209.06 points or 1.5 percent to 13,469.13, the S&P 500 also slumped 41.75 points or 0.9 percent to a nearly one-month closing low of 4,402.20 and the Dow posted a more modest loss, slipping 76.85 points or 0.2 percent to 34,440.88.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.8 and the French CAC 40 Index increased by 0.7 percent.
Crude oil futures settled lower on Wednesday despite data showing a drop in crude inventories in the U.S. in the week ended September 15. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October settled lower by $0.92 at $90.28 a barrel on the expiration day. WTI Crude futures for November settled at $89.66 a barrel, down $0.82 from the previous close.
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