(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Friday following the weak cues overnight from Wall Street as bond yields surged to multi-year highs and raised concerns about the outlook for interest rates. Oil stocks dipped following the overnight fall in crude oil prices, while banks are higher.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is declining 11.40 points or 0.18 percent to 6,164.90, off a low of 6,160.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 13.80 points or 0.22 percent to 6,280.10. Australian shares ended higher on Thursday.
Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices fell overnight. Santos is declining almost 2 percent, Oil Search is down 0.7 percent and Woodside Petroleum is lower by 0.6 percent.
Beach Energy said it will sell 40 percent of its Victorian Otway assets to OG Energy for A$344 million. The oil and gas explorer's shares are losing more than 5 percent.
Among the big miners, BHP is down 0.2 percent, Rio Tinto is declining 0.5 percent and Fortescue Metals is losing almost 1 percent.
Meanwhile, gold miner Evolution Mining is rising more than 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.6 percent despite gold prices edging lower.
Banks are also mostly higher, following gains by financial stocks in the U.S. Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank is edging down 0.1 percent.
Retail giant Wesfarmers has requested a trading halt until Tuesday, pending an announcement on its planned A$20 billion de-merger of supermarket chain Coles.
Dexus Property Group has further expanded into the healthcare sector with a strategic investment in REIT manager Heathley Ltd, which will list on the ASX. Shares of Dexus are declining almost 1 percent.
On the economic front, Australia will provide retail sales data for August and also see September results for the Performance of Construction Index from AiG.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly higher against the surging U.S. dollar on Friday, though it continued to remain at near two-and-a-half year lows. The local currency was quoted at $0.7081, compared to $0.7066 on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Thursday as a recent jump by U.S. treasury yields raised concerns about the outlook for interest rates. With the ten-year yield reaching its highest levels in over seven years, traders seem worried the Federal Reserve may raise rates more aggressively than currently anticipated.
The Dow tumbled 200.91 points or 0.8 percent to 26,627.48, the Nasdaq plunged 145.57 points or 1.8 percent to 7,879.51 and the S&P 500 slumped 23.90 points or 0.8 percent to 2,901.61.
The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent, the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Crude oil futures fell on Thursday after rallying to nearly four-year highs in the previous session, recording its worst single-session loss in about three weeks. WTI crude for November delivery fell $2.08 or 2.7 percent to $74.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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