By RTT News, October 09, 2013, 10:14:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is trading weak on Thursday, with lower commodity prices dragging down resources stocks. A weak unemployment report is also contributing to the decline.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to 5,126.8, is currently trading at 5,141.5, down 11.5 points or 0.2 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 10 points or 0.2 percent at 5,141.6, off the day's low of 5,126.9.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank is up 0.4 percent and Westpac (WBK) is up marginally, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are trading slightly weak. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is down 0.5 percent, while Bank of Queensland is up 7 percent after reporting strong cash earnings of A$250.9 million for financial year 2013.
Top miners BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are trading lower by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
Regis Resources is down 5.7 percent. PanAust, Newcrest Mining and Whitehaven Coal are trading lower by 3 to 3.3 percent.
Mirvac Group, Aurora Oil & Gas, Beach Energy, Seek, Woodside Petroleum, Twenty-First Century Fox, Crown, Sims Metal Management and James Hardie Industries are down 1 to 1.8 percent.
ResMed Inc. ( RMD ), Asciano, Fortescue Metals, Flight Centre, Monadelphous Group and Federation Centres are trading in positive territory, gaining 1.3 to 2.3 percent.
On the economic front, Australia's unemployment rate came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.6 percent in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday - below forecasts for 5.8 percent, which would have been unchanged from the August reading.
The Australian economy added 9,100 jobs - missing expectations for an increase of 15,000 following the loss of 10,200 jobs in the previous month. The participation rate eased to 64.9 percent - shy of forecasts for 65.0 percent, which would have been unchanged from August.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened marginally higher against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoting at US$0.9446, up from Wednesday's close of US$0.9433.
On Wall Street, stocks ended on a mixed note on Wednesday after a choppy ride, as traders weighed positive sentiment generated by news of the nomination of Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chairman against continued concerns about the ongoing government shutdown.
The Nasdaq slid 17.1 points or 0.5 percent to 3,677.8, while the Dow crept up 26.5 points or 0.2 percent to 14,803 and the S&P 500 inched up 0.9 points or 0.1 percent to 1,656.4.
Major European markets ended weak on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 index edged down by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the German DAX index dropped by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil plummeted to end at a more than three-month low on Wednesday, after the Energy Information Administration's weekly oil report showed U.S. crude stockpiles to have increased several times more than what analysts expected.
Crude for November delivery tumbled $1.80 or 1.8 percent to close at $101.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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