Asian Markets Mixed Ahead Of G-20 Summit

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(RTTNews.com) - Asian stock markets are mixed on Friday following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street amid renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates after the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting held earlier this month and on caution ahead of the highly-anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Argentina this weekend.

The Australian market is declining, with stocks lower across the board following the negative cues from Wall Street and on caution ahead of the Trump-Xi Jinping meeting.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 66.00 points or 1.15 percent to 5,692.40, after touching a low of 5,675.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 63.40 points or 1.09 percent to 5,772.30. Australian shares pared some gains, but still closed higher on Thursday.

In the banking sector, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are losing in a range of 1.2 percent to almost 1.6 percent.

The major miners are mostly lower. Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 1 percent and BHP is declining 0.6 percent, while Rio Tinto is edging up 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are also weak despite gold prices edging up overnight. Evolution Mining is losing more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is declining more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower despite a rebound in crude oil prices overnight. Santos and Woodside Petroleum are down 0.2 percent each, while Oil Search is adding almost 1 percent.

Coca-Cola Amatil said it has decided to sell its loss-making SPC business after a review of the Victorian food unit and expects the business to record a full-year loss in 2018 of about A$10 million. Shares of Coca-Cola Amatil are losing more than 11 percent.

Shares of newly-listed supermarket giant Coles are down for a fourth straight session, losing almost 3 percent.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia said that private sector credit in Australia was up 0.4 percent on month in October, unchanged and in line with expectations.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is almost flat against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7317, compared to $0.7316 on Thursday.

The Japanese market is modestly lower in choppy trade following the weak cues from Wall Street and as investors digested a raft of local economic data. Investors also treaded cautiously ahead of the Trump-Xi Jinping meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 21.53 points or 0.10 percent to 22,241.07, after rising to a high of 22,336.90 in early trades. Japanese shares closed higher on Thursday for a fifth straight session.

The major exporters are mostly lower despite a weaker yen. Sony and Canon are declining 0.6 percent each, while Panasonic is edging down less than 0.1 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.5 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota and Honda are advancing almost 2 percent each. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 0.7 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is lower by 0.2 percent and Tokyo Electron is losing 0.1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is rising almost 3 percent and Japan Petroleum is advancing more than 2 percent after crude oil prices rebounded overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is gaining 4 percent, Suzuki Motor is rising more than 3 percent and Toho Zinc is advancing almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, Seiko Epson is losing 5 percent, Taiyo Yuden is lower by more than 3 percent and JFE Holdings is down almost 3 percent.

The Nikkei reported, citing Takeda Pharmaceutical's CFO Costa Saroukos, that the company will consider selling of up to $10 billion in assets to slash the debt from its planned acquisition of Ireland-based Shire Plc.

On the economic front, industrial production in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent on month in October, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday's preliminary reading. That exceeded forecasts for an increase of 1.1 percent following the 0.4 percent decline in September.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in October. That exceeded expectations for 2.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the September reading.

Overall consumer prices in the Tokyo region were up just 0.8 percent on year in November - beneath expectations for 1.1 percent and down sharply from 1.5 percent in October. On a monthly basis, overall Tokyo inflation was unchanged and core CPI added 0.1 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 113 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia are also lower, while Shanghai, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan are higher.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower on Thursday in a volatile session after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting held earlier this month seemed to reinforce expectations for another quarter-point increase in interest rates next month. The minutes said that almost all participants agreed another increase in rates was "likely to be warranted fairly soon."

The Dow moved in a nearly 300-point range before edging down 27.59 points or 0.1 percent to 25,338.84. The Nasdaq slipped 18.51 points or 0.3 percent to 7,273.08 and the S&P 500 dipped 5.99 points or 0.2 percent to 2,737.80.

European stocks mostly moved to the upside on Thursday. The U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both advanced by 0.5 percent, while the German DAX Index bucked the uptrend and closed just below the unchanged line.

Crude oil futures rebounded on Thursday on reports Russia, the second largest producer of crude oil, is likely to agree on a production cut in the upcoming OPEC and non-OPEC producers meet in Vienna next week. WTI crude rose $1.16 or 2.3 percent to close at $51.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Banking and Loans , Economy , Oil , Commodities

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