Asian Markets Trading Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Tuesday, following the lack of cues from global markets overnight due to holiday in most markets, as traders turned to booking profits following the recent rally is some markets. Traders also remain cautious ahead of the vote on the US debt ceiling deal on Wednesday. Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Congressional Republican McCarthy agreed on a debt ceiling deal on Saturday to avert an economically destabilizing default by suspending the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling until 2025. The bipartisan agreement now has to clear a divided Congress before the United States runs out of money to pay its debts in early June.

The Australian stock market is slightly lower on Tuesday after alternating between the unchanged line, giving of some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,200 level, following the lack of major cues from global markets overnight, with gains in iron ore and gold mining stocks more than offset by weakness in energy and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 1.60 points or 0.02 percent to 7,215.80, after touching a high of 7,227.20 and a low of 7,210.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 2.00 points or 0.03 percent to 7,393.10. Australian stocks closed significantly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mineral Resources is adding more than 1 percent. Fortescue Metals is flat.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Woodside Energy is edging down 0.1 percent and Santos is losing almost 1 percent, while Beach energy is edging up 0.5 percent. Origin Energy is flat.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is losing almost 1 percent and Appen is declining almost 2 percent, while Zip is gaining more than 1 percent and Xero is edging up 0.5 percent. WiseTech Global is flat.

Gold miners are higher. Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.2 percent, Evolution Mining is gaining almost 1 percent, Resolute Mining is adding more than 2 percent, Gold Road Resources is up 1.5 percent and Northern Star Resources is rising more than 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, Westpac and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.3 percent each, while ANZ Banking is edging down 0.3 percent. Commonwealth Bank is flat.

In other news, shares in Sayona Mining are plunging more than 13 percent after the lithium miner announced the completion of an underwritten institutional placement.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.653 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is notably lower on Tuesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 31,100 level off recent 33-year highs, following the lack of cues from global markets overnight, as traders booked some profits after the recent rally which took the index to 33-year highs.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 31,119.27, down 114.27 points or 0.37 percent, after hitting a low of 31,064.19 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 4 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.3 percent, while Toyota is edging down 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 1 percent and Screen Holdings is adding more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.3 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.2 percent and Mizuho Financial is losing almost 1 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are mostly weak. Mitsubishi Electric is losing almost 1 percent, while Canon and Sony are edging down 0.1 to 0.2 percent each, while Panasonic is gaining almost 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, Mitsubishi Chemical is losing almost 4 percent, while Sapporo Holdings, Sumco and Teijin are down almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Kobe Steel is gaining more than 4 percent, Citizen Watch is adding more than 3 percent and Fujikura is up almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 140 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan are lower by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each, while South Korea and Singapore are up 0.9 and 0.2 percent, respectively. Indonesia is relatively flat.

The Wall Street was closed on account of Memorial Day holiday on Monday. The shares closed sharply higher on Friday.

The major European markets ended modestly lower with investors largely making cautious moves, focusing on U.S. debt ceiling talks. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 ended lower by 0.2% and 0.21%, respectively. The Switzerland market was closed for Pentecost.

Crude oil prices eked out modest gains on Monday after U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reached an agreement in principle to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a potentially disastrous default by the U.S. government. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for July settled at $72.94 a barrel, up $0.27 or 0.4 percent.

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