By RTT News, October 13, 2013, 11:24:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Despite a positive lead from Wall Street where stocks ended higher last Friday, Asian stock markets are mostly trading lower on Monday with investors pressing sales amid concerns about the political impasse in the U.S. on the debt ceiling issue.
In the Australian market, energy, mining, financial, consumer staples, industrial and information technology stocks are mostly trading weak.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to 5,186.8, is currently trading at 5,200.5, down 30.4 points or 0.6 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 30.2 points or 0.6 percent at 5,200.7.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are down 0.5 to 1 percent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is lower by 0.6 percent and Bank of Queensland is trading flat.
Top miners BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are trading modestly lower.
Oz Minerals is down more than 8 percent following an announcement from the company that its production levels of gold and copper at its Malu open pit in South Australia fell short of expectations.
Iluka Resources is trading lower by over 5 percent. Newcrest Mining, Regis Resources, Carsales.Com, ALS, Leighton Holdings, Whitehaven Coal, Qantas Airways, Monadelphous Group and Mineral Resources are down 2 to 4 percent.
UGL, Tatts Group, Sims Metal Management, Asciano, Downer EDI, Blusecope Steel and Alumina (AWC) are also trading sharply lower.
On the economic front, the total number of housing loans in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent in August compared to the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, standing at 49,912. The headline figure was shy of forecasts for a contraction of 2.5 percent following the 2.4 percent increase in July.
Loans for the purchase of established dwellings contracted 4.6 percent on month in August, while loans for the construction of new dwellings added 2.2 percent and loans for the purchase of new dwellings dipped 4.0 percent.
The value of home loans was down 1.2 percent on month, seasonally adjusted, to A$23.835 billion following the flat reading in the previous month. Investment lending was roughly flat on month at A$8.797 billion after rising 2.9 percent a month earlier.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened lower against the U.S. dollar. Around noon, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9439, down 0.4 percent from Friday's close of US$0.9476.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Shanghai is trading modestly higher. In China, consumer prices were up 3.1 percent on year in September, according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. That topped forecasts for an increase of 2.8 percent, and climbed from 2.6 percent in August. Exports dropped unexpectedly in September.
Meanwhile, Singapore is trading flat. Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea are down with modest losses, while Taiwan is trading notably lower. Markets in Hong Kong, Japan and Indonesia are closed for public holidays.
On Wall Street, stocks ended mostly higher on Friday amid sings the lawmakers in Washington are making progress toward resolving the debt crisis. The major averages ended the session near their highs. The Dow jumped 111 points or 0.7 percent to 15,237.1, the Nasdaq climbed 31.1 points or 0.8 percent to 3,791.9 and the S&P 500 rose 10.6 points or 0.6 percent to 1,703.2.
Major European markets too moved higher on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index advanced by 0.9 percent, the German DAX index gained 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 index inched up by less than a tenth of a percent.
U.S. crude oil pared early losses but still ended lower on Friday on demand growth concerns, with U.S. crude stockpiles surging four times than expected last week and the International Energy Agency raising its supply forecast while lifting its demand outlook for 2013.
Crude for November delivery ended down $0.99 or 1.0 percent at $102.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching a low of $100.60 a barrel intraday.
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