Asian Markets Mostly Lower

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday after U.S. stocks fell for a third day on Friday, reflecting continued weakness among technology stocks and the lack of progress on a U.S. stimulus package. Worries about the global economic recovery and the surge in coronavirus cases across Europe also weighed on the markets. The Japanese market is closed for a holiday.

The Australian market is declining, extending losses from the previous session.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 40.80 points or 0.70 percent to 5,823.70, after touching a low of 5821.30. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 42.50 points or 0.70 percent to 6,015.10. Australian stocks closed lower on Friday.

The major miners are weak. BHP Group is declining 0.5 percent, Rio Tinto is lower by 0.3 percent and Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are also declining despite an increase in gold prices on Friday. Newcrest Mining is losing more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is lower by almost 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are lower in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent, while Westpac is rising 0.4 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is losing more than 1 percent and Afterpay is edging down 0.1 percent, while Appen is unchanged.

In the oil sector, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.3 percent and Oil Search is unchanged, while Santos is down 0.6 percent even as crude oil prices edged higher on Friday.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly lower against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7311, compared to $0.7315 on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, New Zealand and Hong Kong are modestly lower, while South Korea and Malaysia are edging lower. Meanwhile, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia are higher. The Japanese market is closed for a holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday, extending the pullback seen over the two previous sessions partly due to a continued slump by technology stocks. Traders also continued to express renewed concerns about the economic outlook following the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. With the elections less than two months away, lawmakers currently seem unlikely to pass another stimulus bill to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow slid 244.56 points or 0.9 percent to 27,657.42, the Nasdaq tumbled 116.99 points or 1.1 percent to 10,793.28 and the S&P 500 slumped 37.54 points or 1.1 percent to 3,319.47.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both slid by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday as prices edged up despite a surge in coronavirus cases raising uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery and causing worries about the outlook for energy demand. WTI crude for October added $0.14 or about 0.3 percent at $41.11 a barrel.

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