By RTT News,
February 03, 2014, 08:51:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is trading lower on Tuesday with investors indulging in heavy selling across the board, tracking cues from Wall Street where the major averages tumbled overnight on disappointing economic data.
Consumer discretionary, financial, mining, energy, industrial and healthcare stocks are among the most prominent losers. Due to widespread selling, all the sectoral indices are currently down in the red.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which tanked to 5,100.2, is currently down 69.1 points or 1.3 percent at 5,118.8. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 66.6 points or 1.3 percent at 5,135.3, slightly off the day's low of 5,117.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are down 1.2 to 1.8 percent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland are down 1.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Among the top miners, BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals are trading lower by 1.8 to 2 percent, while Newcrest Mining is bucking the trend and trading higher by 3.2 percent.
In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin Energy and Caltex Australia are down 1.2 to 1.8 percent, while Oil Search is down marginally.
Flight Centre Travel Group, Sims Metal Management, Monadelphous Group, Iluka Resources and Henderson Group are down 3.5 to 4 percent.
Twenty-First Century Fox, Amcor, ResMed Inc. ( RMD ), Bluescope Steel, Leighton Holdings, Alumina (AWC), Oz Minerals, James Hardie Industries, ALS and Perpetual are all trading lower by over 2 percent.
In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will announce its decision on interest rates later in the day. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark rate on hold at 2.50 percent.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar was quoting at US$0.8751 in early trades, but retreated to around US$0.8730 subsequently.
On Wall Street, stocks plunged sharply on heavy selling on Monday, following the release of a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing a significant slowdown in the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector in the month of January.
The major averages remained firmly negative going into the close, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow plummeted 326 points or 2.1 percent to 15,372.8, the Nasdaq dove 106.9 points or 2.6 percent to 3,997 and the S&P 500 plunged 40.7 points or 2.3 percent to 1,741.9.
With the steep losses on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 fell to their lowest levels in over three months, while the Nasdaq set a two-month closing low.
Major European markets too closed notably lower on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 0.7 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index tumbled by 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures dropped to their lowest in a week on Monday due to concerns about the outlook for global demand. Crude for March delivery ended down $1.06 or 1.1 percent at $96.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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