CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are down with notable losses on Wednesday, reversing some of the gains in the previous session, with worries about global economic growth and the further fall in crude oil prices weighing on investor sentiment.
On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth projections for this year and the next, as the recovery in global activity is set to be more gradual than expected earlier, especially in the emerging market and developing economies.
The Australian market pared early gains and is marginally lower in a volatile trading session, tracking the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street and the further slide in oil prices.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index is declining 10.60 points or 0.22 percent to 4,892.50, off a low of 4,880.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 8.60 points or 0.17 percent to 4,946.50.
In the mining sector, Rio Tinto is down almost 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is losing almost 2 percent.
BHP Billiton said its first-half financial results will include writedowns worth $911 million due to redundancies and closures. The company also lowered its full-year iron ore production outlook. Shares of the company are lower by almost 2 percent.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining is declining almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is lower by more than 1 percent.
Banks are mixed. ANZ Banking is down 1.3 percent and Westpac Banking is lower by almost 1 percent, while National Australia Bank is adding 0.8 percent and Commonwealth Bank is up 0.4 percent.
Among oil stocks, Oil Search is adding 0.7 percent and Santos is higher by 0.6 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is lower by almost 1 percent.
Job search company Seek Ltd. said its Chinese subsidiary has received a takeover offer of $17.50 in cash per ADS from two
-based investment firms. Shares of the company are advancing almost 2 percent.
On the economic front, the latest survey from Westpac Bank showed that consumer confidence in
declined again in January, as its index slipped 3.5 percent to a score of 97.3. That follows the 0.8 percent contraction in December to 100.8.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly lower against the
dollar on Wednesday amid hopes of further stimulus measures from
. In late-morning trades, the local unit was trading at $0.6907
, down from Tuesday's close of $0.6911
The Japanese market is sharply lower as the continued fall in oil prices and uncertainty about
economy weighed on investor sentiment. Additionally, a stronger yen dragged down exporters' stocks.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 322.15 points or 1.89 percent to 16,726.22, off a low of 16702.23 earlier.
Among the major exporters, Sony is losing 6 percent and Toshiba is down almost 4 percent, while Casio Computer and Canon are declining more than 1 percent each. Panasonic and Sharp are lower by more than 2 percent each.
Market heavyweight Fast Retailing is losing more than 2 percent and SoftBank is down more than 3 percent.
In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down almost 2 percent, Mizuho Financial is losing 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is lower by more than 2 percent.
Oil stocks Inpex and JX Holdings are declining almost 4 percent each.
Among the major gainers, Nippon Suisan Kaisha is rising 2.6 percent. Sumitomo Heavy Industries is lower by almost 5 percent, Taiyo Yuden is down 4.6 percent and Nippon Yusen is losing 4 percent.
In the currency market, the
dollar is trading in the mid 117 yen
-range on Wednesday, down from Tuesday's close in the upper 117-yen
is lower by more than 2 percent, while
are down more than 1 percent each.
are marginally lower. Bucking the trend,
is up with modest gains.
On Wall Street, stocks closed narrowly mixed Tuesday, trimming a sliver of heavy recent losses amid hopes for stimulus from
is expected to offer stimulus as the country's economic growth in 2015 was the slowest in 25 years.
The S&P 500 closed a point higher at 1,881.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,015.88. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite was down 11.47 points, or 0.3 percent, at 4,476.95.
The European markets rebounded from their lowest level in 13 months Tuesday on hopes that further stimulus measures will be coming from
after its GDP report. The DAX of
climbed 1.50 percent, the CAC 40 of
rose 1.97 percent and the FTSE
gained 1.68 percent.
Crude oil prices further collapsed Tuesday, plunging to 12-year lows amid indications there is no longer space at storage facilities to put excess supplies. WTI oil for February delivery settled at $28.46 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 96 cents or 3.3 percent, the lowest since 2003.
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