Australian Market Pares Gains

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(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market has pared early gains and is flat on Monday despite the positive cues from Wall Street on Friday following better-than-expected U.S. jobs data. Banking stocks are mixed, offsetting gains by miners and oil stocks.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 2.80 points or 0.05 percent to 5,997.20, off a high of 6,015.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 3.80 points or 0.06 percent to 6,081.20.

The big four banks are mixed. ANZ Banking is down 0.2 percent and National Australia Bank is lower by 0.3 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is adding 0.6 percent and Westpac is up 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are also higher despite gold prices falling on Friday. Newcrest Mining is rising almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is advancing more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are gaining after crude oil prices rose Friday. Woodside Petroleum is rising more than 1 percent, Santos is advancing almost 1 percent and Oil Search is adding 0.6 percent.

Downer EDI said that a joint venture between the company and Ausenco has won a A$312 million contract for engineering, procurement and construction work at Oz Minerals' Carrapateena copper gold mine project in South Australia. However, shares of Downer EDI are edging down 0.1 percent.

Retail Food Group, owner of the Gloria Jean's, Donut King and Brumby's Bakery brands, after media reports accused the company of driving its franchisees into bankruptcy with a brutal business model. Shares of the company are losing almost 22 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar has fallen against the U.S. dollar, which strengthened following better-then-expected US jobs data. In early trades, the local unit was quoted at US$0.7508, down from $0.7514 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed at record highs on Friday after a Labor Department report showed stronger than expected job growth in the month of November. Positive sentiment was also generated by news that both the House and the Senate passed a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

The Dow climbed 117.68 points or 0.5 percent to 24,329.16, the Nasdaq rose 27.24 points or 0.4 percent to 6,840.08 and the S&P 500 advanced 14.52 points or 0.6 percent to 2,651.50.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1 percent.

Crude oil prices rose Friday amid concerns of supply disruptions from Nigeria, as workers threatened to strike at a crucial production facility. WTI crude added $0.67 or 1.2 percent to settle at $57.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Oil , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: FSUGY ,

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