Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trades

Asian stock markets are exhibiting a mixed trend on Friday as investors turned cautious amid renewed uncertainty about the possibility of a long-term U.S.-China trade deal.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Chinese officials are casting doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade agreement and are concerned about U.S. President Donald Trump's "impulsive nature". People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Chinese officials have warned in private conversations that they are unwilling to budge on the thorniest issues.

The Australian market is extending losses from the previous session following the negative lead from Wall Street amid renewed uncertainty about the possibility of a U.S.-China trade deal.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is declining 15.30 points or 0.23 percent to 6,648.10, after touching a low of 6,634.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 14.20 points or 0.21 percent to 6,758.70. Australian stocks closed lower for a second straight session on Thursday.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are lower in a range of 0.9 percent to 1.6 percent.

Macquarie Group reported a 11 percent increase in first-half profit and increased its interim dividend, but affirmed that its full-year profit will be "slightly down" from the prior year. The company's shares are declining more than 2 percent.

Oil stocks are also weak after crude oil prices fell overnight. Oil Search is lower by almost 1 percent, Santos is declining 0.5 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.2 percent.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are declining more than 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is down 0.5 percent.

Gold miner Evolution Mining is gaining more than 3 percent and Newcrest Mining is higher by almost 3 percent after gold prices rose overnight.

Orica reported a turnaround to profit in the full year despite A$134 million in writedowns and also increased its final dividend. The explosives maker's shares are down 0.2 percent.

Qantas Airways has pulled three of its Boeing 737 aircraft from service to repair hairline cracks found in the pickle fork structure between the wings and the fuselage. The airline's shares are advancing more than 1 percent.

Virgin Australia's shares are rising more than 3 percent after the airline said it has completed the bookbuild for its domestic notes offering and increased the issue size following strong support from investors.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in October, albeit at a slower rate, with a seasonally adjusted Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 51.6. That's down from 54.7 in September, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that final demand producer prices in Australia were up 0.4 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2019, matching expectations and unchanged from the three months prior.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6891, up from $0.6922 on Thursday.

The Japanese market is declining and the safe-haven yen strengthened amid renewed uncertainty about the possibility of a U.S.-China trade deal. Data showing an increase in Japan's unemployment rate in September also dampened investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 144.48 points or 0.63 percent to 22,782.56, after touching a low of 22,705.60 in early trades. Japanese shares closed higher on Thursday.

The major exporters are mostly lower as the yen strengthened. Mitsubishi Electric is declining more than 1 percent, Sony is lower by 0.4 percent and Canon is edging down 0.1 percent, while Panasonic is gaining almost 4 percent.

On Thursday, Panasonic reported a 11 percent decline in first-half net profit and lowered its full-year sales outlook, while affirming its earnings outlook.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is declining almost 1 percent, while Fast Retailing is adding 0.2 percent.

Among auto stocks, Toyota Motor is lower by 0.5 percent and Honda Motor is edging down 0.1 percent. In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is lower by more than 3 percent and Inpex is losing almost 3 percent after crude oil prices extended losses to a fourth straight session overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Seikan Group is gaining more than 9 percent, and Hitachi Zosen is rising more than 7 percent.

On the flip side, JTEKT Corp., NTN Corp. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are losing more than 4 percent, while Denso Corp. is lower by almost 4 percent.

In economic news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in September. That exceeded expectations for 2.2 percent, which would have been unchanged from the August reading.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 107 yen-range on Friday.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Thursday amid renewed uncertainty about the potential for a long-term U.S.-China trade deal. A new report from Bloomberg said Chinese officials are casting doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade agreement. In an apparent effort to calm the markets, President Donald Trump tweeted shortly before the start of trading that the U.S. and China are working on a new site to sign phase one of the trade deal.

The Dow slid 140.46 points or 0.5 percent to 27,046.23, the Nasdaq edged down 11.62 points or 0.1 percent to 8,292.36 and the S&P 500 fell 9.21 points or 0.3 percent to 3,037.56.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on Thursday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil futures drifted down sharply on Thursday, extending losses to a fourth successive session, amid concerns over outlook for energy demand due to slowing economies and uncertainty about U.S.-China trade deal. WTI crude for December delivery slumped $0.88 or about 1.6 percent to $54.18 a barrel.

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