Australian Market Recovers After Weak Start

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(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market recovered after a weak start and is advancing on Monday following the positive cues from Wall Street in a truncated session on Black Friday as well as on higher commodity prices. Mining, bank and oil stocks are modestly higher.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 22.60 points or 0.38 percent to 6,005.20, after falling to a low of 5,978.10 in early trades. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 23.10 points or 0.38 percent to 6,086.20.

In the mining space, BHP Billiton is adding 0.2 percent, Rio Tinto is rising 0.3 percent and Fortescue Metals is advancing almost 2 percent following a boost in iron ore prices.

Oil stocks are higher after crude oil prices rose to a two-year high on Friday. Oil Search is up 0.1 percent, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.2 percent and Santos is rising 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, gold miners are mixed after gold prices fell Friday for its first weekly drop in three weeks. Newcrest Mining is losing 1 percent, while Evolution Mining is adding almost 1 percent.

Shares of Downer EDI are gaining more than 4 percent after the engineering group raised its full-year profit outlook, citing larger-than-expected cost savings following its purchase of a 87.8 percent stake in Spotless.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Monday. In early trades, the local unit was quoted at US$0.7611, down from US$0.7621 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks saw modest strength in an abbreviated trading session on Friday following the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday. Trading activity remained subdued, however, as many traders remained away from their desks following the holiday.

The Dow inched up 31.81 points or 0.1 percent to 23,557.99, the Nasdaq climbed 21.80 points or 0.3 percent to 6,889.16 and the S&P 500 rose 5.34 points or 0.2 percent to 2,602.42.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil futures jumped to their highest in two years Friday amid supply interruptions in North America and expectations that OPEC will extend its output cuts through 2018. January WTI oil rose $0.93 or 1.6 percent to $58.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in thin holiday trade as many traders in the US remained on Thanksgiving break.

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This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Politics
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