Asian Markets Mostly Lower

(RTTNews) - The Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower on Monday, despite the slightly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders reacted to key U.S. economic data, including a closely watched job growth data that came in stronger than expected in December, raising concerns about the outlook for interest rates. Asian markets closed mostly lower on Friday.

The Australian stock market is currently trading slightly higher on Monday after opening in the red, recouping some of the losses in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving to a tad below the 7,500.00 level, following the slightly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, with gains in gold miners are nearly offset by weakness in technology stocks.

Traders also cautiously await domestic inflation data later in the week for further clues on the Reserve Bank of Australia's next policy moves.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 16.30 points or 0.22 percent to 7,472.80, after touching a high of 7,504.20 and a low of 7,468.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 19.40 points or 0.25 percent to 7,699.00. Australian stocks closed slightly lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Mineral Resources is losing almost 1 percent. Fortescue Metals is flat.

Oil stocks are mixed. Beach energy and Woodside Energy are edging up 0.4 to 0.5 percent each, while Santos is edging down 0.3 percent and Origin Energy is losing almost 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is edging down 0.3 percent, Xero is declining almost 1 percent and Appen is plunging more than 9 percent, while Afterpay owner Block and Zip are losing almost 2 percent each.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Newmont and Evolution Mining are edging up 0.1 to 0.4 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is gaining almost 1 percent and Resolute Mining is adding almost 2 percent. Gold Road Resources is losing almost 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.1 to 0.4 percent each, while ANZ Banking is gaining almost 1 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.672 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is closed for Coming of Age Day holiday on Monday. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Friday.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 144 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong and China are down 1.8 and 1.00 percent, respectively. New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea are lower by between 0.1 and 0.4 percent each, while Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent each. On Wall Street, stocks saw considerable volatility over the course of the trading day on Friday after trending lower during the past several sessions. The major averages swung back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing slightly higher.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up 13.77 points or 0.1 percent to 14,524.07, snapping a five-session losing streak. The Dow also crept up 25.77 points or 0.1 percent to 37,466.11, while the S&P 500 rose 8.56 points or 0.2 percent to 4,697.24 after closing lower for four consecutive sessions.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices showed a strong move to the upside on Friday, reflected ongoing fears of an escalation of the Israel-Hamas war into a broader regional conflict. West Texas Intermediate for February delivery surged $1.62 or 2.2 percent to $73.81 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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