February 1, 2016 - 12:20 PM EST
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Asian Markets Mostly In Negative Territory

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are mostly in negative territory on Tuesday, with the lackluster cues from Wall Street overnight and the 6 percent tumble in crude oil prices denting investor sentiment. Disappointing

and Chinese manufacturing data released on Monday has added to worries about the global economy.

The Australian market is lower following the flat cues from Wall Street and the fall in crude oil prices. Investors are also cautious ahead of the monetary policy decision by the Reserve Bank of

later in the day.

The RBA will wrap up its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 2.00 percent.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index is declining 30.60 points or 0.61 percent to 5,013.00, off a low of 5,011.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 30.20 points or 0.59 percent to 5,063.90.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is declining 1 percent, Rio Tinto is losing more than 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 1 percent.

Standard & Poor's has lowered its credit rating for BHP Billiton by a notch and put it on negative watch. The ratings agency also placed Rio Tinto on negative watch.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining is down 0.5 percent, while Evolution Mining is advancing 1 percent after gold prices rose overnight.

Among oil stocks, Oil Search is down more than 1 percent, while Santos and Woodside Petroleum are losing more than 2 percent each.

In the banking space, Westpac Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are lower in a range of 0.04 percent to 0.3 percent.

Education provider Navitas reaffirmed its earnings outlook for the full year after reporting a 44 percent surge in profit for the first half of the year. Shares of the company are gaining more than 6 percent.

Domino's Pizza Enterprises has completed its 79 million euro acquisition of

largest pizza delivery company, 212 Joey's Pizza stores. However, shares of the company are down almost 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the

dollar on Tuesday ahead of the RBA's monetary policy decision. In early trades, the local unit was trading at $0.7097, up Monday's close of $0.7077.

The Japanese market is declining, with the fall in crude oil prices and the lackluster cues from Wall Street weighing on investor sentiment. Additionally, a stronger yen dragged down exporters' stocks.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 68.6 points or 0.4 percent to 17,796.68, off a low of 17,684.66 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Toshiba is lower by almost 4 percent, Panasonic is edging down 0.04 percent, Casio Computer is down 0.2 percent and Canon is declining 0.8 percent. Sony is losing more than 2 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing more than 1 percent after it reported a 27 percent decline in its third-quarter profit late on Monday. Resona Holdings is lower by more than 2 percent.

Oil stock Inpex is lower by 4 percent and JX Holdings is down almost 3 percent.

Among the other major losers, Nisshin Steel is losing more than 7 percent, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal is down almost 6 percent and NTT DoCoMo is lower by almost 4 percent. Meanwhile, Dai-ichi Life Insurance is gaining almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the

dollar traded in the upper 120 yen-level on Tuesday, down from Monday's close in the lower 121 yen-range in

Elsewhere in

South Korea
Hong Kong
are down with modest losses. Bucking the trend,
is gaining more than 1 percent and
New Zealand
is marginally higher.

On Wall Street, stocks regained ground to end Monday's session nearly unchanged after coming under pressure in early trading amid a sharp drop in the price of crude oil as well as the release of some disappointing Chinese manufacturing data.

While the Nasdaq inched up 6.41 points or 0.1 percent to 4,620.37, the Dow slipped 17.12 points or 0.1 percent to 16,449.18 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.86 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 1,939.38.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on Monday. While the French CAC 40 Index dropped by 0.5 percent, the

FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices plunged Monday, unable to sustain last week's advance due to OPEC's inaction regarding potential supply cuts. Crude oil for March delivery tumbled $2 or 6 percent to $31.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Source: Equities.com News (February 1, 2016 - 12:20 PM EST)

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