Asian Markets In Negative Territory

Asian stock markets are in negative territory on Tuesday following the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street amid rising geopolitical tensions around the world and on worries about Italy’s budgetary woes as well as Brexit. Investors are also cautious as they focus on several major upcoming corporate earnings results due this week.

The Australian market is extending losses from the previous session, with stocks lower across the board.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 47.90 points or 0.81 percent to 5,857.00, off a low of 5,853.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 44.00 points or 0.73 percent to 5,962.20. Australian markets fell notably on Monday.

The big four banks are notably lower. ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank are down in a range of 1.1 percent to 1.4 percent.

Commonwealth Bank, which is selling its 80 percent stake in an Indonesian life insurance business for A$426 million, said it will make a post-tax profit of about A$140 million on the sale. The bank’s shares are declining 0.3 percent.

The major miners are also weak despite higher iron ore and copper prices. Fortescue Metals is losing almost 2 percent, BHP is declining almost 1 percent and Rio Tinto is down 0.3 percent.

Among oil stocks, Woodside Petroleum is declining more than 2 percent and Santos is lower by more than 1 percent, even as crude oil prices edged higher overnight.

Shares of Oil Search are down more than 3 percent despite the company reporting that its revenue for the September quarter nearly doubled from the preceding quarter on higher oil prices and an uptick in production that helped offset the impact of an earthquake in Papua New Guinea earlier this year.

Gold miners are mixed after gold prices declined overnight. Evolution Mining is lower by more than 1 percent, while Newcrest Mining is adding 0.2 percent.

Private equity firm BGH Capital and AustralianSuper have renewed their takeover attempt for Healthscope with a A$4.1 billion bid, five months after the private hospitals operator rejected their offer. Shares of Healthscope, which said it will assess the proposal, are gaining more than 20 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7078, down from $0.7109 on Monday.

The Japanese market is notably lower, tracking the mixed cues from Wall Street and a stronger safe-haven yen amid rising geopolitical tensions. Investors are also cautious as they focus on several upcoming corporate earnings results due this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 396.09 points or 1.75 percent to 22,218.73, after falling to a low of 22,202.89 earlier. Japanese shares eked out modest gains on Monday.

Among the major exporters, Canon is declining more than 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is losing more than 1 percent, Panasonic is lower by almost 1 percent and Sony is down 0.5 percent.

Among auto makers, Honda is lower by more than 1 percent, while Toyota is rising almost 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are declining more than 1 percent each.

In the oil space, Japan Petroleum is down almost 2 percent and Inpex is losing almost 3 percent after crude oil prices edged higher overnight.

In the tech sector, Advantest is lower by almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining more than 2 percent.

Among the worst performers, Toto is falling more than 6 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Daiwa House Industry and Toyo Seikan Group are losing more than 5 percent each. Screen Holdings is lower by almost 5 percent.

In economic news, Japan will release September figures for supermarket sales as well as department store sales, and final September numbers for machine tool orders today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 112 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is losing almost 2 percent, while New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan are all down more than 1 percent each. Shanghai and Singapore are both lower by almost 1 percent each. Indonesia and Malaysia are modestly lower. The markets in Thailand are closed on Tuesday for Chulalongkorn.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Monday for a second straight session as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent volatility. A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of reports on new home sales, durable goods orders, and consumer sentiment in the coming days.

While the Nasdaq rose 19.60 points or 0.3 percent to 7,468.63, the Dow slid 126.93 points or 0.5 percent to 25,317.41 and the S&P 500 fell 11.90 points or 0.4 percent to 2,755.88.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Monday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil prices edged higher on Monday as investor focus returned to impending U.S sanctions against Iran. WTI crude for November added $0.05 or 0.07 percent to close at $69.17 a barrel on expiration day.