By RTT News, September 30, 2013, 09:51:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - After a positive start and a subsequent fall from higher levels, the Australian stock market is trading flat on Tuesday, with investors mostly treading cautiously following a weak lead from Wall Street.
Shares from financial, energy, mining, healthcare and consumer discretionary sections are trading mixed, while industrial and property trusts stocks are trading firm.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to 5,201.8 after rising to 5,234.7 in early trades, is currently down 3.3 points at 5,211.6. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 3.4 points at 5,214.3, after retreating to around 5,201.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are trading lower by 0.3 to 0.5 percent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia is up marginally. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland are down marginally.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) is trading slightly up. Rio Tinto (RIO) is down 0.4 percent and Fortescue Metals is losing about 0.6 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down 2.6 percent.
Henderson Group, Myer Holdings and Oz Minerals are down 2.5 to 4 percent. Arrium and Crown are trading lower by 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
Adelaide Brighton, Oil Search, Echo Entertainment Group, ALS, WorleyParsons, Goodman Group, Iluka Resources and Woodside Petroleum are also trading notably lower.
Meanwhile, Treasury Wine Estates, Brambles, Santos and Twenty-First Century Fox are trading in positive territory, gaining 1.3 to 2.5 percent.
Leighton Holdings is up 0.7 percent. The company announced that it has won a contract worth A$370 million to build a new terminal and car park at Melbourne Airport.
In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates. The bank is widely expected to keep rates on hold at 2.50 percent.
Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in Australia expanded in September, according to survey results released Tuesday by the Australian Industry Group. AIG's Performance of Manufacturing Index rose 5.3 points from August to 51.7. The September reading marked the first reading above 50.0 in more than two years.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened higher against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9321, up from Monday's close of US$0.9308.
On Wall Street, stocks ended notably lower on Monday, as worries about a looming government shutdown weighed on the market. Investors ignored some upbeat statistics on the manufacturing sector and focused on the budget fight in Washington.
The Dow finished declined 128.6 points or 0.8 percent to 15,129.7. The Nasdaq ended down 10.1 points or 0.3 percent at 3,771.48 and the S&P 500 slipped 10.2 points or 0.6 percent to 1,681.5.
Major European markets too ended weak on Monday. The French CAC 40 index lost 1 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the German Dax index both closed lower by 0.8 percent.
U.S. crude oil prices ended lower on Monday. Crude for November delivery dropped $0.54 or 0.5 percent to close at $102.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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