Australian Market Declines

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(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is declining on Friday despite the positive cues overnight from Wall Street, reflecting weakness in banks and oil stocks. Investors also digested mixed corporate earnings results.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 12.20 points or 0.21 percent to 5,828.60, off a low of 5,815.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 8.90 points or 0.15 percent to 5,917.00. Australian shares ended modestly higher on Thursday.

In the banking space, Westpac, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are lower in a range of 1.0 percent to 1.3 percent.

Macquarie Group said its first-half profit rose 5 percent, announcing its final set of results before the retirement of Nicolas Moore as chief executive. The investment bank's shares are rising more than 3 percent.

Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices fell for a fourth straight session overnight. Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search are all losing more than 1 percent each.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 1 percent, BHP is adding 1 percent and Rio Tinto is up 0.3 percent.

Gold miners are also advancing after gold prices rose overnight. Evolution Mining is adding 0.4 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising more than 1 percent each.

Orica reported a 16 percent decline in its full-year underlying profit, but declared an increase in the final dividend from a year earlier. The explosives maker's shares are gaining 5 percent.

CSR reported a 77 percent plunge in its half-year profit and said it expects to make a decision on whether to spin off the Viridian glass business by the end of the year. The construction material supplier's shares are losing more than 6 percent.

Myob Group said it has opened its books to U.S. private equity firm KKR, which raised its proposed takeover bid for the company to A$1.78 billion. The accounting software provider's shares are rising more than 4 percent.

Austal said its Australian business was hit with a data breach and extortion attempt, but added that there was no evidence of theft of national security information. The defence shipbuilder's shares are advancing almost 2 percent.

On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that retail sales in Australia rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in September, coming in at A$26.892 billion. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 0.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the August reading.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also said that final demand producer prices in Australia were up 0.8 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2018, accelerating from the 0.3 percent gain in the second quarter.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar held onto overnight gains and was quoted at $0.7204 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he had a "very good" conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping about trade. The tweet from Trump comes following recent reports the U.S. will impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if the talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit fail to ease the trade war.

The Dow surged up 264.98 points or 1.1 percent to 25,380.74, the Nasdaq soared 128.16 points or 1.8 percent to 7,434.06 and the S&P 500 jumped 28.63 points or 1.1 percent to 2,740.37.

The major European markets ended mixed on Thursday. While the German DAX Index rose by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index both dipped by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices extended losses on Thursday to a fourth successive session, weighed by recent data that showed an increase in U.S. oil inventories for the sixth successive week. WTI crude for December fell $1.62 or 2.5 percent to close at 63.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement in nearly seven months.

Read the original article on RTTNews (http://www.rttnews.com/2950800/australian-market-declines.aspx)

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This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Banking and Loans , Oil
Referenced Symbols: AUTLY ,

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