Asian Markets Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday following the negative cues from Wall Street on Friday amid worries about U.S.-China trade tensions after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed hopes of an imminent trade deal. In addition, upbeat U.S. jobs data for the month of October led to renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The Australian market is losing ground following the negative cues from Wall Street as well as lower crude oil and gold prices. Investors also digested weak corporate earnings results from Westpac.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.30 points or 0.36 percent to 5,827.90, off a low of 5,817.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 20.50 points or 0.35 percent to 5,915.30. Australian stocks recovered from an early slide to finish modestly higher on Friday.

In the banking space, National Australia Bank is down 0.1 percent and Commonwealth Bank is losing more than 1 percent, while ANZ Banking is adding 0.2 percent.

Westpac reported full-year cash earnings that were flat with the prior year on customer compensation and legal costs, while its statutory profit rose 1 percent. The bank’s shares are edging lower by 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are lower after crude oil prices fell for a fifth straight session Friday. Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are losing more than 1 percent each, while Santos is declining 1 percent.

Gold miners are also weak after gold prices fell 0.4 percent on Friday. Evolution Mining is losing almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is declining 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major miners are mostly higher. Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto are advancing almost 2 percent each, while BHP is down 0.3 percent.

Cochlear said it will appeal a U.S. district court fine of $268.1 million following a patent infringement lawsuit filed by the Alfred Mann Foundation for Scientific Research and Advanced Bionics. The hearing device maker’s shares are losing almost 3 percent.

Webjet has agreed to acquire Dubai-based business travel wholesaler Destinations of the World for $240 million. The online travel agency’s shares are in a trading halt.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the service sector in Australia continued to expand in October, albeit at a slower pace, with a Performance of Service Index score of 51.1. That’s down from 52.5 in September, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Australia will also see the October inflation forecast from TD Securities today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar pared losses, but was quoted at $0.7202 on Monday, still down from $0.7237 on Friday.

The Japanese market is notably lower following the negative cues from Wall Street amid worries about U.S.-China trade relations and global economic growth. Investors are also cautious as they await minutes of the Bank of Japan’s September monetary policy meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 339.86 points or 1.53 percent to 21,903.80, after touching a low of 21,897.87 earlier. Japanese shares logged their biggest single-day gain since March on Friday.

The major exporters are losing despite a weaker yen. Sony is losing almost 2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are losing more than 1 percent each. Panasonic is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is rising 0.3 percent. Conglomerate SoftBank is declining 0.5 percent.

Among auto makers, Toyota is declining more than 1 percent and Honda is down 0.6 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing 0.7 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 0.2 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is lower by almost 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum is adding 0.4 percent after crude oil prices fell for a fifth straight session on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Sapporo Holdings is rising more than 7 percent, while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Rakuten are gaining almost 4 percent each.

On the flip side, NTT Data is losing more than 7 percent and Marubeni Corp. is lower by more than 6 percent, while Fast Retailing and Subaru are declining almost 5 percent each.

The Nikkei reported that Subaru’s operating profit for the fiscal year through March 2019 is expected to fall about 30 percent due to recall costs.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan will release the minutes from its monetary policy meeting on September 18 and 19. At the meeting, the central bank retained the -0.1 percent interest rate on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the bank.

The services sector in Japan continued to expand in October, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Monday with a PMI score of 52.4. That’s up from 50.2 in September, and it moves back above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.The survey also said the composite index climbed to 52.5 from 50.7 a month earlier.

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

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is losing almost 2 percent, while South Korea and Singapore are declining more than 1 percent each. Shanghai, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan are also lower, while Indonesia is modestly higher.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday led by Apple after the tech giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded estimates but weaker than expected iPhone shipments. Traders also digested a closely-watched Labor Department report showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of October, led to renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The Dow fell 109.91 points or 0.4 percent to 25,270.83, the Nasdaq slumped 77.06 points or 1 percent to 7,356.99 and the S&P 500 slid 17.31 points or 0.6 percent to 2,723.06.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices fell on Friday amid worries about oversupply after the U.S. said several countries will receive sanctions waivers to continue buying Iranian oil. WTI crude for December delivery slid $0.55 to $63.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest closing level for a front-month contract since April.