By RTT News,
February 04, 2014, 08:52:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Despite a positive lead from Wall Street where stocks ended higher overnight on bargain hunting, the Australian stock market is trading slightly weak on Wednesday.
With stocks swinging between gains and losses amid cautious trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is currently down 7.3 points at 5,089.8, despite opening on a slightly positive note. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 4.1 points at 5,110 after declining to 5,093.4 from an early high of 5,128.6.
Consumer discretionary stocks are trading firm. Mining and energy stocks are trading mixed, while healthcare and bank stocks are weak.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are trading marginally down, while National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are down 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is down 0.8 percent and Bank of Queensland is trading flat.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) is down 0.8 percent, while Rio Tinto (RIO) is trading higher by about 0.3 percent.
Monadelphous Group is trading higher by 3.2 percent. Fortescue Metals, Aurora Oil & Gas and Lend Lease Group are up 2 to 2.4 percent.
Perpetual, Stockland, Arrium, Macquarie Group, Twenty-First Century Fox, Amcor, Iluka Resources and David Jones are also trading notably higher.
Meanwhile, Primary Healthcare, Metcash, Treasury Wine Estates, Wesfarmers, James Hardie Industries, Beach Energy, CSL and Woodside Petroleum are trading weak, losing 1 to 1.6 percent.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar was quoting at US$0.8939 in early trades. The local currency, which was trading around US$0.8760 ahead of the central bank's rate decision on Tuesday, rose to US$0.8894 after the bank decided to hold interest rates at 2.5 percent.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mostly higher on Tuesday, due largely to bargain hunting following recent weakness. However, buying interest was somewhat subdued due to weakness in emerging markets.
The major averages ended the day firmly in positive territory but well off their highs for the session. The Dow rose 72.4 points or 0.5 percent to 15,445.2, the Nasdaq climbed 34.6 points or 0.9 percent to 4,031.5 and the S&P 500 advanced 13.3 points or 0.8 percent to 1,755.2.
Major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. While French CAC 40 index edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index dipped by 0.3 percent and the German DAX index ended lower by 0.6 percent.
U.S. crude oil ended higher on Tuesday, tracking rising global equity markets, ahead of the closely watched official supply data from the Energy Information Administration. Crude for March delivery ended up $0.76 or 0.8 percent to close at $97.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after scaling a high of $97.71 a barrel intraday.
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